Cardiff announces semiconductor excellence centre

Cardiff University has announced a new partnership with semiconductor wafer company IQE, along with plans to establish a new centre for compound semiconductor (CS) research excellence.

The venture will develop technology that features in smartphones and tablets, healthcare equipment, biotechnology and mass communications.

The announcement of the new partnership follows the news from March that the government would provide £17.3m of funding for the CS research centre, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. The government has also recruited Professor Diana Huffaker - currently based at the University of California, Los Angeles - to lead the new research programme.

Welsh Government Minister for Economy and Science, Edwina Hart said: “This new company will help create commercial opportunities from the excellent compound semiconductor research work going on at Cardiff University. Together with the appointment through our Sêr Cymru programme of Professor Diana Huffaker, a world-renowned expert in the field, Cardiff is now well placed to become a hub for compound semiconductor research and exploitation.”

As well as strengthening its CS research facilities, senior figures at Cardiff University hope that the partnership can boost its standing within the academic world.

Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University’s mission is to be consistently among the top 100 universities in the world and the top 20 in the UK. Fundamental research is essential for sustaining academic growth and for improving the health, wealth and well-being of society. Coupling IQE’s infrastructure with Cardiff’s existing strengths in expanding areas of semiconductor devices and materials will create cutting-edge opportunities that will put us ahead of our competitors.”

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