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Compound Semiconductors provide the underpinning technology behind most of today’s high-tech products and services including smartphones, sensors, and fibre-optic communications. They function at speeds much faster than traditional silicon-based semi-conductors and offer photonic properties that used in a wide range of sensor technologies and optical communications. Semiconductors in the form of both silicon and compound semiconductors, form the heart of many of today’s technologies. Without semiconductors, many devices and applications that we rely on simply would not exist, yet these atomically engineered materials go largely unnoticed amongst the end user brands with which we are so familiar.
The next generation of compound semiconductors will be used in everything from 5G to the Internet of Things, taking in robotics, healthcare, autonomous vehicles and energy efficiency along the way. And the good news is that south east Wales is at the forefront of development, with a world leading cluster emerging in Cardiff and the surrounding city region. Pioneering companies such as IQE are already well established here, working closely with Cardiff University in the Compound Semiconductor Centre.