Compound Semiconductor Award Winners 2012

Leading III-V chipmakers, first-rate toolmakers and the most innovative start-ups grabbed the 2012 Compound Semiconductor Industry Awards.

Winners of the CS Industry Awards 2012 were announced on Monday 12 March at CS Europe, one of the world’s leading compound semiconductors conferences.

At this event, which attracted 250 delegates to the Hilton Hotel, Frankfurt, six companies netted awards in categories covering all the key areas associated with compound semiconductor manufacturing and chip development.

These winners included some of the biggest names in the field and some of the most exciting start-ups: TriQuint, Veeco, Cree, Ammono, KLA-Tencor and Solar Junction.

TriQuint won the R&D award for its involvement in the Microscale Power Conversion programme, which promises to set a new benchmark for variable-voltage, high power switch-modulators. Commentating on this award, Richard Stevenson, editor of Compound Semiconductor magazine, said: “GaN is widely touted as the most promising material since silicon. This wide bandgap semiconductor has already spawned a multi-billion dollar LED market, and with TriQuint’s help, it is going to make a big splash in the switching arena.”

The Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Award went to Veeco for its TurboDisc MaxBright GaN MOCVD Multi-Reactor System. “Higher throughput and a lower cost-of-ownership are top priorities for LED manufacturers worldwide. Full marks to Veeco for a tool that excels in both these areas,” remarked Stevenson.

Cree was victorious in the category for the Device Design and Packaging with its XLamp MT-G EasyWhite LEDs, which combine a 50,000 lifetime with for high-lumen, small-footprint requirements of 35 and 50 Watt halogen retrofit lamps. “Cree is playing a major role in driving the LED lighting revolution with its incredibly impressive portfolio of XLamp products,” said Stevenson

The Substrates and Materials Award went to Ammono, a pioneer of a novel GaN crystal growth method. “Ammono’s growth technique is a wonderfully elegant way to address the challenging problem of how to form GaN substrates,” said Stevenson. “The tremendously flat, ultra-high-quality substrates that result should help to spur further improvements in laser and LED performance.”

KLA-Tencor picked up the Test and Measurement Award with its Candela 8620 Wafer Inspection System. “For years and years, LED chipmakers have had to use wafer inspection tools designed for silicon wafers. But thankfully these days are now over, due to Candela’s introduction of tools focused on scrutinizing LED wafers, such as the 8620 inspection system,” claimed Stevenson.

The Stanford start-up Solar Junction netted the most innovative device award for its high efficiency SJ3 product, a platform that has enabled the company to fabricate cells with a record-breaking 43.5 percent efficiency. “Dilute nitrides have always held promise. Until now massive commercial success has failed to followed, but that will change with Solar Junction’s revolutionary multi-junction solar cells,” predicted Stevenson.

Voting by the readers of Compound Semiconductor magazine and its associated web-site determined the winners of these awards. More than 17,000 votes were cast.

Commenting on the awards, David Ridsdale, Editor-in-Chief of the Semiconductor and Solar Group said: “In a very short time, Compound Semiconductor has become a key member of our stable of microelectronics’ manufacturing magazines. In line with our other products we introduced the CS Industry Awards to ensure peer recognition of the constant innovation that occurs in the industries we work within. The CS Industry Awards have already become a key industry event applauding the best achievements by those working in the field.”

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