The Welsh Government has announced a new £1.3 million project to develop world-leading process technologies for a range of applications, including autonomous vehicles, devices for clean energy, future mobility, artificial intelligence, advanced packaging, and biosensors and wearable sensors.
The ASSET project (Application Specific Semiconductor Etching Technology) — funded under the Welsh Government’s SMARTExpertise programme with support from the European Regional Development Fund — is a collaborative project with industrial partners across South Wales.
These include SPTS Technologies, IQE, the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), Biovici, BioMEMS, Swansea University and Cardiff University — plus Manchester-based Integrated Compound Semiconductors Ltd.
These partners provide technologies that go into almost all the world’s leading smartphones. By developing a host of new semi-conductor process technologies, ASSET is intended to deliver the materials that will be required by emerging applications in automotive sensing, 5G, photonics and health-care.
The ASSET project follows the recent announcement of the £90 million Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials — a new ‘state of the art’ semiconductor facility at Swansea University, which should be completed in the first half of 2021.
Owen Guy, head of chemistry at Swansea University, said: “The ASSET project is another example of South Wales’s semiconductor cluster working together to deliver world-class technology and drive economic growth for the country.”
Kevin Crofton, president of SPTS Technologies, said: “The ASSET project gives the consortium the ability to work with the extensive fabrication supply chain in the region to further expand our capabilities and capitalise on new and exciting market opportunities.”