Catapults

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Following detailed consultation by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network involving industry and academia, a new Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult – to be based in Wales – has been announced.

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult will be focused on helping this industry sector to exploit the significant advances made by UK researchers over the past two decades. This Catapult will provide translational research facilities to accelerate the commercialisation of compound semiconductors in key application areas including: healthcare, the digital economy, energy, transport, defence and security, and space.

Its objective will be to bridge the gap between companies developing novel semiconductor materials, topologies and devices, and those developing systems for end-user applications.  Working with companies and complementary research facilities, this new Catapult is expected to take a leading role in defining the world’s premier compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales.

Semi conductor diagram

The UK has invested close to £750m in the research of compound semiconductor materials and the application of semiconductor devices.  The market for compound semiconductors is expected to grow rapidly, to an estimated £125bn by 2025, as these devices exploit applications in which silicon cannot operate, such as photonics, or areas where compound semiconductors outperform silicon, such as power electronics, RF/microwave communications and sensing.

We are ideally placed in the UK to exploit these emerging markets, with many R&D intensive companies operating across the supply chain, including start-ups, SMEs and multi-nationals.  The value proposition increases by typically 5x or 10x from one stage of the supply chain to the next, creating significant opportunities to capture and grow value for the UK.  This Catapult will help to anchor and grow existing UK companies, while acting as a focus for foreign direct investment.

By operating ‘post foundry’, the Semiconductor Applications Catapult complements other investments within South Wales including the Institute for Compound Semiconductors at Cardiff University, involving circa £80m investment, and the Compound Semiconductor Centre, which is a circa £40m joint venture between Cardiff University and IQE.  The Institute, the Centre and the Catapult will establish the world’s premier compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales.

For further information about the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult please email catapult@innovateuk.gov.uk.

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