Anadigics to Construct 6 Inch GaAs Wafer Fab in Kunshan, China
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 10, 2007...Anadigics Inc. of Warren, New Jersey USA, reported that it has entered into
an investment contract with Kunshan New and Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
(KSND), to jointly construct a 6-inch gallium arsenide IC wafer fabrication facility in the city of Kunshan in the Jiangsu Province
in China. Anadigics anticipates initially spending $10 to $15 million over the first two years of the project, which will begin in the fourth quarter of 2007, and expects
to commence an initial production phase in the first quarter of 2009. After
the initial investment the company expects the facility lifetime to be 50 years and their investment to reach an estimated $50 million to run through its lifetime.
“We’re very pleased to work with Vice Mayor Zhu and KSND to
expand our wafer fabrication capacity in Kunshan,” said Dr. Bami
Bastani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anadigics, Inc. “This
project is expected to provide us with an attractive cost structure and to enable
us to meet our future fab capacity needs thereby contributing to the growth
of our Company, as well as providing us with increased access to one of the
fastest-growing markets for wireless and broadband communications.”
WJ Communications Goes Fabless
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 10, 2007...WJ Communications, a radio frequency solution developer of San Jose, California
USA, reported that it completed closing its gallium arsenide (GaAs) wafer fabrication
facility in Fremont, California on March 30, 2007. The facility was part of
the company’s 2004 acquisition of EIC inc. (Ref: Coverage).
Plans to close the facility were announced in November 2006. (Ref: Coverage).
The company plans to use Global Communication Semiconductors Inc. of Torrence,
California to supply the GaAs and InGaP wafers.
Bruce Diamond, President and Chief Executive Officer of WJ Communications,
stated, “Operating under a fabless business model will enable us to focus
our resources on new product introductions for high growth markets, including
Wireless Small Signal, Wireless Power, WiMax and RFID.” He added, “The
associated cost savings of $1.0 to $1.25M per quarter will assist in further
improving our financial performance in the coming quarters and years, making
this an important milestone for WJ.” WJ
Communications News Release
JDSU Appoints Optical Communications President; Introduces Optical Filters; Named Test and Measurment Company of the Year
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 10, 2007...JDSU of Milpitas, California USA, reported that it has appointed David Gudmundson
as president of Optical Communications. JDSU says that Gudmundson will be responsible
for Optical Communications sales, operations, and product development. Previously
senior VP of corporate development and marketing, Mr. Gudmundson played an integral
role in a number of strategic transactions including the acquisition of: Lightwave
Electronics, Acterna, and Agility Communications. Company
JDSU also announced the introduction of two new optical filters, a laser line
detection filter and a detector response filter. The laser line rejection filter
is designed to be used in applications including night vision and laser based
biomedical instrumentation. The detector response filter is designed to be used
in remote sensing, homeland security instrumentation, and biomedical instrumentation.
News Release. In other recent news Frost and Sullivan named JDSU “Test
and Measurement Company of the Year.” Company
April 10, 2007...BluGlass of Australia reports that an independent assessment commissioned by
Wright, Williams, & Kelly Inc. found that its remote plasma CVD (RPCVD)
process for deposition of GaN on glass substrates can cut the cost of manufacturing
GaN-based devices. BluGlass says the report shows that its process can yield up
to 48 percent savings for LED epi on 2-inch diameter glass substrates compared
to standard MOCVD on 2-inch sapphire substrates. Additionally the BluGlass points
to a 70 percent reduction in material costs (largely because of the difference
in price between sapphire and glass substrates and utilizing nitrogen instead
of toxic ammonia.).
Additionally, BluGlass says that because of the greatly reduced temperature
requirement of 700 degrees Celsius instead of around 1000 degrees Celsius for
conventional MOCVD, the operating cost over the useful lifetime of a reactor
(about 7 years) is about $8 million lower. Company
CIGS Solar Startup, Solyndra Raises $79 Million
CompouondSemi News Staff
April 6, 2007...Solyndra, a Santa Clara, California startup, which will specialize in copper indium gallium selenium (CIGS) solar cells has raised $79 million in funding. CIGS manufacturing
is expensive and startups in the field have to have vast infusions of capital
to pay for the required manufacturing facilities. Investors in the new solar
company include CMEA Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, CNET reported in an article.
(Note: that article made several factual errors about the efficiency and
manufacturing cost of CIGS photovoltaics.) According to another article, this in a VC publication, Solyndra's technology will be led by VP of Engineering Benny Buller, formerly a GM at Applied Materials.
CIGS technology is more efficient than conventional solar cells, but it also
costs more to produce. Each company has its own recipe for CIGS photovoltaics.
The main difference from company to company seems to be in manufacturing techniques
and the type of surface upon which the CIGS material is deposited. There is
no word yet on how Solyndra plans to manufacture the photovoltaics, or what
material they will be manufactured on. However, the startup has a long list
of job openings on its web site. Several other companies in the sector have
recently received significant funding. Nanosolar recently announced raising
$100 million. Austin-based Heliovolt also raised funds to set up its own facility.
Georgia Tech Researchers Produce Nanoscale Generator
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 6, 2007...Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia USA have developed a nanonscale generator that uses
zinc oxide nanowires on a gallium arsenide, sapphire, or flexible polymer to
generate a direct current by harnessing mechanical energy from environmental
sources such as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow. The nanogenerator
utilizes small electrical charges created when the zinc oxide nanowires flex.
The nanogenerator could provide power for nanoscale devices without batteries
or other external power sources. Commenting on the R&D breakthrough, Zhong Lin Wang, Regents’ Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech said, "This is a major step toward a portable, adaptable and cost-effective technology for powering nanoscale devices. There has been a lot of interest in making nanodevices, but we have tended not to think about how to power them. Our nanogenerator allows us to harvest or recycle energy from many sources to power these devices." An explanation about the nanogenerator will be reported in the April 6 issue
of the journal Science. The Georgia Tech research was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Emory-Georgia
Tech Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. Georgia
Tech News Release
Technical University of Berlin Orders Thomas Swan System to Develop Nitride Alloy Materials
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 6, 2007...The Institute of Solid State Physics at the Technical University of Berlin
has ordered a Thomas Swan epitaxial growth system from Aixtron. The system, which
will be set up in the 3x3-inch configuration, will be used to develop GaN/ (Al,
Ga, In ) nitride alloy based materials for optoelectronic devices such as lasers
and LEDs. The materials will have high aluminum concentration and will go
into lasers and ultra-violet LEDs. The new reactor will add to the University's
other Aixtron systems, the AIX 200RF and the AIX 200/4 in the cleanrooms of
the Eugene-Paul-Wigner Building.
The new system was chosen in part because of the Institute of Solid State Physics’
experiences with the other Aixtron systems. Professor Michael Kneissl, head
of the Experimental Nanophysics and Photonics group, commented, “…The
Thomas Swan 3x2 inch FT is clearly superior to other vertical systems in terms
of process stability and precursor efficiency. It has demonstrated the process
flexibility, uniformity in thickness, doping, and composition required for next-generation
optoelectronic devices. It also supports a number of different in-situ control
techniques. Alongside our existing systems it will be a useful platform for
us to develop high-Al III-nitride laser diodes and high-brightness UV LEDs."
Strategy Analytics' GaAs Industry Forecast Due Out Today
April 4, 2007...The new 54 page GaAs
Industry Forecast: 2006-2011 from Strategy Analytics of the UK is due
out today. In it, author Asif Anwar reports that "Cellular handsets
will continue to be the primary growth engine for the GaAs industry with Wi-Fi
forecast to become the second largest market for GaAs. Overall, the market for
GaAs devices will exceed $5 billion in 2011 and the corresponding market for
GaAs substrates will be worth $480 million. VGF will be the underlying technology
for bulk substrates while epitaxial substrates will remain evenly split
between MOCVD and MBE technologies."
Hitachi Cable Says 4-Inch GaN Substrates Possible With New Growth Method
April 2, 2007...While attending the Japan Society of Applied Physics at Aoyama Gakuin University,
Hitachi Cable Ltd. announced that it has created a highly reproduceable 3-inch
gallium nitride substrate prototype, according to a Nikkei Electronics
article. The company claims that it is the first company to release photos and
data for 3-inch GaN substrates. The industry primarily utilizes 2-inch GaN substrates.
During a presentation the company reportedly was asked the question, “How
far can it grow in size?” A company spokesperson told Nikkei Electronics,
“We believe 4-inch products can be produced with no difficulty if
the production equipments are arranged accordingly."
The compound semi industry has devoted much effort to reducing manufacturing costs of components
requiring GaN substrates. Increasing the substrate diameter is one method of
decreasing the cost per component by allowing more components to be placed on
a single substrate. Hitachi reported that it was able to produce a larger diameter
substrate by using a new technique it developed which adds a thin “sacrifice
layer” onto the base substrate upon which the GaN is grown using HVPE.
The sacrifice layer has a microscopic void in between the thick film GaN
and the base substrate. This allows for easier detachment of the thick film
GaN, the article
stated. The article also carries considerable technical details. Hitachi is calling their procedure, "the void-assisted separation method."
Next Gen DVD Player Prices Reach $500 Benchmark Sooner than Expected.
April 3, 2007...Samsung Electronics lowered the price for its Blu-ray Disc (BD) player BP-1000
by about 48% to US$469.99 in late March of 2007, a Digitimes article
stated. Toshiba immediately responded by reducing the US retail price for its
entry-level HD DVD player HD-A2 to US$399. The retail price for Blu-ray or HD
DVD players was lowered to the benchmark of $499 two quarters sooner than expected,
said. While the format war is by no means over, the lower prices will bring much more early adopters of next generation DVD technology.
Our news features are reported
by the CompoundSemi News staff writers.
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Commentary & Perspective...
BLUE 2007 Tackles the End System Challenges
Jo Ann McDonald, founding editor
April 10, 2007...Have you registered
for BLUE 2007
yet? If not, better get at it! BLUE gets underway in Hsinchu, Taiwan before
you know it. It begins April 17 at the Ambassador Hotel with a pre-conference
workshop, and the main event begins Wednesday, April 19. This year we've divided
BLUE into two separate (but obviously related) forums. Wednesday, the emphasis
is on technology and day two, Thursday, April 20th, is the Business Forum. Theme
for this year's BLUE event, the 5th annual, is "It's About the System".
And for good reason. We think, and everyone seems to agree (especially lighting
designers), that it is definitely time for the suppliers to the still-fledgling solid
state lighting (SSL) industry to look forward, and beyond their wells of technical
expertise. It's time for the supply chain to look more closely at the needs
and desires of those to whom these wonderful blue spectrum LEDs are sold. Thus the moniker
"blue" as our innovative SSL industry insiders meet in Hsinchu, Taiwan,
where most of the blue spectrum LEDs are manufactured.
Those who work on the front lines of blue spectrum LEDs know them as blue,
green, violet LEDs, that, when properly manipulated, produce brilliant white,
energy efficient light. Lighting designers look at these as simply white LEDs
that make great flashlights, nightlights and fairy lights, but wonder, "Can
they really prove to be suitable replacements for conventional light sources...
even CFL lightbulbs? While some brave lighting designers have already embraced
solid state lighting, with under counter, commercial, architectural, or theatrical
applications, the inroads thus far are only a fraction of what's possible. This year at BLUE we are tackling the question of how
to take today's SSL technology to the next level. Lighting designers know what they want, and need, they just
need to know how to get it.
That's what the SSL suppliers need to do. Deliver on our technology's promises.
This has always been the challenge to the overall compound semiconductor (CS)
industry. "You say the compounds can provide components that can enable
smaller, faster, smarter, longer lasting, brighter, and ultimately more economical
systems? Prove it!" The RF community proved it could be done. The solid
state laser community proved it. So can compound semi solar cells and blue spectrum
LEDs. With new materials, more manufacturable designs, better growth equipment, and
much better packaging, white LEDs can become the true answer to replacing the
I challenge attendees at BLUE
2007 in Hsinchu, Taiwan this year to take that next critical leap towards
true SSL industry maturity. If you pay close attention to the messages our extremely
knowledgeable and thought-provoking speakers deliver, you'll go away from this
year's BLUE event a stronger, smarter SSL supplier. Setting the stage for transforming our attendees will be Brent York, our first keynote speaker who is also
kindly serving as one of our co-chair for this year's BLUE. Title of Brent's
talk is the theme of this year's BLUE, "It's About the System!" As the promo
for his talk states, "A collection of components does not make a system.
Building it right takes intention and attention to a number of factors that
component suppliers might not realize. It will take systems to succeed in the
larger marketplace and that requires systems-level thinking, regardless of your
position on the supply chain." Brent York is one of the foremost experts
in the industry on LED system integration and on the entire systems thought
process. Obviously, the most influential of LED manufacturers thinks so
too as Brent's company, TIR Systems of Burnaby, British Columbia in Canada,
was recently acquired by Royal Philips Electronics.
Our special keynote speaker for BLUE brings the theme home as well. He's none
other than Neal Hunter himself, co-founder and former president, CEO, and chairman
of Cree and now co-founder and chairman of LED Lighting Fixtures Inc. The title
of Neal's talk at the close of sessions on Wednesday is, "The Industry
Succeeds Without the Hype".Neal genuinely believes that we
really don't need the hype to be successful, and he knows what he's talking about as one of the founders of Cree. He's seen the entire CS industry flourish since its very beginnings in the
mid-1980s when, as a young college graduate, he and a handful of his fellow
North Carolina USA whiz kids in wide bandgap materials established a startup
called Cree. Neal has seen both the CS and SSL industries bloom from a handful
of seeds, and our BLUE event provides a rare opportunity for today's SSL suppliers
to hear him speak about what it will really take for this industry to
succeed. He'll underscore where major mistakes can be made, and thus avoided,
that could set your company back as well as jeopardize the success of the entire
fledgling SSL industry. Neal will convince you that, with real results, which
customers can believe in, there's no need to inflate the claims nor fail in
providing full disclosure. Neal is convinced that the SSL industry is holding
a winning hand, and that what the SSL industry simply needs to play the game correctly at this stage.
You may have also noticed that B.J. Lee is another of our co-chairs? BJ is the CEO of
Epistar, and it seems like every year we hold BLUE, Epistar just gets bigger
and bigger. So big that it has now, officially, become a member of that prestigious
club of LED giants, that includes Lumileds, Cree, Nichia, Osram Opto and Toyoda
Gosei. So the original Big 5 is now the Big 6. BLUE 2007 is a rare opportunity
to get to know BJ better. (Who knows, your company might be his next acquisition.)
Another man you'll want to get to know better, which attending BLUE will allow
you to do, is the man who is largely responsible for bringing BLUE to Taiwan
in the first place, four years ago, our third co-chair, Robert Walker, CEO of
BridgeLux. Prior to joining BridgeLux, the innovative LED design and manufacturing
company that's based in Sunnyvale, California (in the heart of the USA's famous
Silicon Valley), Bob served in various senior management positions within Emcore.
During Bob's time at Emcore, much of the early blue spectrum LED work was conceived, while designing
the first MOCVD growth systems for blue LEDs. Through the years, Bob has become
regarded as one of the most noted Asian market experts in the CS and SSL industries.
This resulted in him authoring the pivotal Asian LED producers report
for Strategies Unlimited in 2004. Many of today's successes in Asia have been
aided by the information Bob provided in that comprehensive study. BridgeLux
is fortunate to have Bob at the helm. Getting an opportunity to talk candidly
with Bob, if feel, could provide hidden keys for your own success. And speaking
of Strategies Unlimited, the other keynote speaker you'll surely want to see and hear
at BLUE is Dr. Robert Steele, SU's Director of Optoelectronics Practice. He
is truly the guru of HB-LED market research.
So start thinking "the whole system" and take time, today, to register
for BLUE 2007 and make your final plans to be there. Everything you need to
get going is on the www.blue-2007.com
website. Read Tom Griffiths' latest editorial
that first appeared April 9th in LIGHTimes and SSL Design. Tom
not only our publisher and program chair for BLUE, he's also the catalyst for
the new Solid State Lighting Industry Trade Association, SSLITA.
In it, Tom presents the type challenges the systems integrators now place before
the SSL suppliers: "Tell us how the devices and systems really perform,
not how they theoretically perform; Give us performance curves (lumens/watt
over the full range of input currents), not just a few performance points; Reduce
the available number of failure points; Tell us what color it is in a way we
understand it; and tell us how long it will produce good quality light."
These are the same basic types of questions that the electronic system integrators
needed from the component and subsystem designers once the integrated circuit
came into vogue. As Tom underscores, "Been there, done that,"
so the SSL suppliers should be up to task. Attend BLUE
2007 to be sure you're on the right track.
As stated at the end of that excellent column by Tom as his personal invitation
to BLUE: "Note to the lighting industry.... the LED supply
chain employs some of the best and brightest you will ever meet and they will
rise to the challenge. Challenge them. Note to the LED supply chain...
welcome to professional leagues. A higher standard is now required. And you
will want to be at the Ambassador Hsinchu Hotel in Taiwan next week for Blue
2007. Some of the best coaches in both the LED and solid state lighting
industry have come to teach, so be ready to learn."
If you have news or
views to share about the compound semiconductor, LED or solid
state lighting industries
contact our Publisher, Tom Griffiths
His direct tel in Austin is +1-512-257-9888