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Developing Next-gen Compound Semiconductors in Taiwan

Under the witness of the officials of the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and a U.K. manufacturing and research company signed a cooperative research project on the development of next-gen compound semiconductors.

This agreement will help develop a new industry chain for compound semiconductors in Taiwan to create new opportunities in the global market as well as complement the R&D capacities of both sides. ITRI and the U.K. manufacturing company began cooperation on precision testing analysis 15 years ago and have achieved excellent results in multiple fields

The MOEA has been active in assisting Taiwan’s manufacturers in advancing core technologies associated with ultra-high frequency (UHF) components by providing key technology solutions and development platforms. The MOEA has also been dedicated to facilitating collaborations between Taiwan companies and global partners. For instance, its International Industrial Innovative R&D Program and the Fast Track Program for clinical trials have attracted many cooperations and investments as well as the establishment of R&D centres in Taiwan.

This collaboration will enhance the growth of next-gen semiconductor supply chain in Taiwan, allowing research and development to be implemented in system integration and multidisciplinary innovation. This will further boost the industrial transformation and economic development of Taiwan.

– Pei-Zen Chang, ITRI Executive

This collaboration in compound semiconductors will open the door to some really exciting advanced technologies including electric vehicles, 5G and other wireless technologies, and even the power converters on wind turbines.

The company’s R&D base established at ITRI in 2011 has allowed the company to accelerate its technology program and better support its customers across Asia. With the new agreement signed, the company and ITRI will combine the innovation, technological and end-market knowledge to drive the advances in semiconductor and power devices that will enable a greener, healthier, more connected, advanced and sustainable society.

Chih-I Wu, ITRI Vice President and General Director of the Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories pointed out that ITRI has already developed GaN semiconductor technology to be applied in high-frequency communications, and it has cooperated with universities on epitaxy technology and UHF communication components.

Based on Taiwan’s key leading technology, its comprehensive industry chain in the semiconductors, and ITRI’s innovative R&D capabilities, the collaboration with the company on the development of compound semiconductors will help increase the yield rate of GaN’s High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) component processing and improve the source charging power and transistor performance.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taiwan has long been a crucial partner in the global supply chain of semiconductor design and fabrication, typically assembling products for other companies to sell under their own brand. But alongside this industry are a host of homegrown Taiwanese companies manufacturing and marketing their own products globally.

Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute stated that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem of companies is the reason to remain at the cutting-edge of ICT innovation in such a hyper-competitive industry.

Taiwanese tech companies tend to form clusters around various industry subsegments, allowing them to collaborate and rapidly explore possibilities. They find ways to improve on existing technologies and refine manufacturing efficiencies, allowing them to become globally competitive thanks to the speed of iterative innovation.

Yet this ecosystem relies on its people, and Taiwan’s affinity for manufacturing and entrepreneurism is also essential. In Taiwan’s culture, everyone has a motivation to be in control of their own destiny. They also enjoy improving manufacturing processes, not only for ICT but other areas This spirit is a unique aspect of Taiwan that has made the ICT industry as successful as it is today.

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