Founded by the present management in 1988 as Epitaxial Products International (EPI), the company was created to provide a foundry service for advanced compound semiconductor wafers. The company was renamed IQE in 1999 following a merger with US based Molecular Beam Epitaxy specialist QED.
Headquartered in Cardiff, UK, IQE plc is now the parent body of eleven subsidiary units, seven of which provide pure-play foundry III-V epitaxial services to a worldwide client base of many hundreds of academic, research and commercial organisations. The group has an annual turnover of ~€150M and employs roughly 600 people worldwide.
IQE plc specializes in the growth of III-V epitaxial layer structures using both the MOVPE and MBE techniques and also bulk crystal growth, particularly in GaSb and InSb. It particularly specializes in developing and manufacturing epitaxial wafers for photonic and microelectronic devices, using a wide variety of compound semiconductors, based on GaAs, InP and GaN and Group IV materials based on Si/Ge. The company has multiple Aixtron, Veeco, Riber and Applied Materials epitaxial growth systems and comprehensive in-house characterization equipment for fast and reliable evaluation of the grown wafers, ensuring flexible and customer-specific epitaxial solutions.
IQE plc is the world’s largest compound semiconductor epi-wafer foundry. With 30 years-experience manufacturing complex compound semiconductor wafers, IQE has developed substantial technical knowhow and expertise combining group IV and III-V materials over the past 15 years through multiple collaborations with some of the world’s leading developers of technology. IQE has access to multiple dedicated MOVPE, MBE and CVD growth of III-V and IV materials, holds a number of patents in compound semiconductor materials processing and brings experience of mass production of high quality epi-wafers, substrates and bulk crystals to this project.
IQE's compound semiconductor products are found in many consumer, communication, computing and industrial applications, such as mobile handsets and wireless infrastructure, and in optical communications. The Group also manufactures advanced photonic components such as semiconductor lasers, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and optical sensors for a wide range of applications including optical storage, thermal imaging and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells. IQE’s Silicon Compounds subsidiary has assisted in developing substantial technical knowhow and expertise in the manufacture of multi-junction solar cells over the past 5-10 years collaborating with some of the world’s leading developers of solar cell technology. It holds patents for SiGe epi-wafer growth on GaAs solar cells and has manufactured substantial volumes of Ge based solar cell epi-wafers for multiple foundry customers with consistent efficiencies around 40% under concentration - including material that briefly held the world solar multisun efficiency record.
MEET THE TEAM
Group Technology Director
Dr. Iwan Davies obtained a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from Imperial College, London in 1982 and his Ph.D. on MOVPE Studies in Compound Semiconductors from the University of Manchester in 1985. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. With 35 years-experience in the epitaxial growth by MOVPE of arsenide and phosphide III-V semiconductors and selenide II-VI semiconductors, he has co-authored over 100 publications covering a very broad range of optoelectronic devices and material systems.
Following a period of research and development at Plessey Research (Caswell) Ltd., he has managed the growth and characterization of epi-wafers, plant operations and product engineering, principally for GaAs and InP-based material systems for the last 30 years at IQE.
He is currently IQE plc Group Technology Director, with responsibilities for National and European Research Project Coordination and Group-wide chemical, safety and environmental issues. Dr. Davies will be the main contact person for IQE in ChipAI.
Business Development Director
Mr. Stuart Edwards received a B.Sc (Hons) in Physics from The University of Bath in 1996. Joining Newport Wafer Fab in 1996 he spent 5 years working in Process Engineering through a range of disciplines covering semiconductor device Fabrication.
After a buyout of the company by International Rectifier, and more recently Infineon, he spent the following 15 years working in Technology development with responsibility for device integration of Power MOSFET, IGBT and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices.
In 2016, Stuart Edwards joined IQE as Business Development Director in the CMOS++ business unit and is responsible for the commercial aspects of the business. In addition to this Stuart is also the technical interface between the IQE operations/engineering team and its customers and project partners.