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Industrial Technology Research Institute


ITRI and UK CSA Catapult Form Partnership to Promote the Next Generation of Compound Semiconductor Innovations


ITRI and CSA Catapult signed an MoU to enhance the collaboration on compound semiconductor technology.
ITRI and CSA Catapult signed an MoU to enhance the collaboration on compound semiconductor technology.

The development of 5G, automotive electronics, optical communications, and smart IoT applications has spurred on demand for new generation semiconductor technology such as compound semiconductors. Compound semiconductors consist of two or more elements, and are ideal for designing devices that are not only emitting light, but resistant to heat, high voltages and radiation. Supported by the Technology Development Programs of Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), ITRI and British CSA Catapult signed an MoU to promote compound semiconductor R&D, marking a stepping stone for the collaboration between two top-notch research organizations.

During the MoU ceremony, the Right Honorable Greg Hands, UK Minister of State for Trade Policy, commented, “The UK and Taiwan are natural partners in compound semiconductors. We have complementary strengths which, when combined, will bring the type of innovation leading us toward a more connected and greener world. I am delighted by this collaboration between CSA Catapult and ITRI.”

Dr. Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer of Innovate UK also stated, “We are delighted to observe that CSA Catapult signs this MoU with ITRI. As one of the world-leading research institutes in semiconductors, ITRI was highlighted in a case study back in 2010 when Hermann Hauser made his recommendations for technology and innovation centers which became the Catapult Network. I look forward to seeing the exciting collaborations between the Catapult and ITRI and wish them all the best in their partnership.”

ITRI President Dr. Edwin Liu remarked that since ITRI has long been working on semiconductor R&D, the Institute has built solid foundation in electronics and optoelectronics, physics, chemistry, and material science with frequent interaction and networking with Taiwan’s robust semiconductor supply chain, and thus has made the semiconductor industry the most important driving force of Taiwan’s economy. The development of 5G, radio frequency, optical communication, and automotive electronics applications in recent years have turned compound semiconductor technology into a new focus in the next generation of semiconductors. As a result, such a direction leads to the partnership between ITRI and CSA Catapult. “The collaboration is expected to motivate new opportunities by combining CSA Catapult’s technical strengths in semiconductor materials with ITRI’s well-built semiconductor process capabilities,” said Dr. Liu. As both research organizations aim to connect the R&D sector with the industries, he hopes this alliance will invite more collaborations between semiconductor industries in the UK and Taiwan.

Dr. Chih-I Wu, ITRI Vice President and General Director of Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories, pointed out that the advances in 5G and AI involve large amounts of data and a need for high speed computing, making semiconductor material development even more important. Through this collaboration with top UK compound semiconductor research agency CSA Catapult, ITRI seeks to join CSA Catapult’s proficiency in semiconductor epitaxy, design, and system application with ITRI’s leading assets in semiconductor research and process development, wide bandgap power electronics, heterogeneous integration, advanced display, sensors, and optical communication. “The two parties will focus on next generation compound semiconductor research and expand the application of compound semiconductors in future 5G and smart Internet products,” he added.

Martin McHugh, CTO and Acting CEO of CSA Catapult, commented, “CSA Catapult is delighted to partner with ITRI. This MoU signifies a closer working relationship, advancing semiconductor research between two world leading organizations. Together, we look forward to developing advanced electronic products of the future, while forging long-lasting business relationships.”

Following the long-term plans of national technology development, the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) of Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan has always recognized the importance of compound semiconductor developments and has launched the Generation Å Semiconductor Project. Previously, DoIT has invested in research related to the conversion from light to electricity, power electronics and high-speed radio frequency communications. ITRI has also been striving to transfer compound semiconductor technologies to domestic optoelectronic industries, bridging the gap between lab and market.

With the existing DoIT technology R&D project results as a cornerstone, ITRI and CSA Catapult will work together in developing technologies in wide bandgap power electronics and communications, optoelectronic semiconductors, Micro LED, 3D sensing, silicon photonics, heterogeneous integration, and advanced packaging. It is hoped that the partnership between ITRI and CSA Catapult can stimulate industry development, establish more connections between Taiwanese and British industries, and further enhance exchanges and collaborations on both sides to promote high-tech industrial innovations.

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