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Compound Photonics acquires Europe's largest GaAs fab from RFMD

30 Jul 2013

UK facility to manufacture green, red and infrared lasers for US firm's mini 1080-pixel mobile projectors.

Compound Photonics, based in Phoenix, AZ, USA, has bought Europe’s Largest gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor manufacturing facility from RFMD for an undisclosed sum.

The buyer says it will use the facility, which is located in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK, to manufacture green, red and infrared lasers for its miniature 1080-pixel projectors for mobile devices, ultra high definition 4K projectors, and automotive head up displays.

Jonathan Sachs, president and CEO of Compound Photonics, commented, “Compound Photonics will soon release projector products for mobile devices that are three times brighter and smaller than current state of the art. To achieve these next generation levels of performance we need to vertically integrate the design and manufacture of the entire light engine.

"This acquisition will bring in-house the manufacturing capabilities for the lasers required to power these engines. The skilled and experienced people, the fab with its toolset, supply chain, mature processes, and a track record of high volume production are ready made for our laser production.”

Green, red, infrared lasers

Compound Photonics said it will use the 22 hectare site with its 4650m2 GaAs wafer fab to produce green, red and infrared lasers. The addition of the systems, fabrication equipment, and research and development capabilities as well as the manufacturing team with experience supplying high volume components to leading mobile phone manufacturers expands Compound Photonics capacity and flexibility to meet its aggressive growth plans.

The powerful, high efficiency, wavelength stabilized laser diodes will be used as illumination sources in miniature high definition 1080p projectors for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as ultra high definition 4K projectors and automotive head up displays.

Wavelength stabilized infrared lasers for emerging gesture recognition applications will also be manufactured using wafer scale production methods in Newton Aycliffe. The Newton Aycliffe facility complements Compound Photonics’ 40,000 square-foot semiconductor processing facility in Phoenix, Arizona where it manufactures liquid crystal on silicon displays and optics systems for its laser projection light engines.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

Synopsys, Optical Solutions GroupSpectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI OpticsInfraTec GmbHBRD Optical Co., LtdEKSPLA uabSensofarart Photonics GmbH
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