Plessey orders Aixtron equipment for GaN-on-Si LED production

June 12, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Chipmaker Plessey Semiconductors has ordered a further MOCVD system from equipment vendor Aixtron SE (Aachen, Germany). The reactors are dedicated to the growth of high brightness LED wafers based on gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) materials at Plessey's facilities in Plymouth, UK. The contract is for the first of a set of production ready CRIUS II-XL reactors in a 7x6-inch wafer configuration.

According to Plessey COO Barry Dennington the company is on schedule for the production of a high-performance LED product. Plessey completed the acquisition of the University of Cambridge spin-off company CamGaN in February 2012 and is now installing the capability for the full commercial exploitation of GaN-on-Si technology. Eearly prototype production is scheduled for Q3 2012; full production will be established by Q2 2013.

The CRIUS II-XL reactor will form the basis of Plessey's commencement of full production of materials for LEDs. Plessey's branded MAGIC (MAnufactured on GaNICs) LEDs will be fabricated on large area silicon substrates through the company's 6-inch integrated circuit fabrication line. "Aixtron's latest CRIUS technology has many advantages that meet our needs, such as the best cost-of-ownership for GaN epi-layer growth on 6-inch silicon substrates and eventually on 8-inch silicon substrates," explained Neil Harper, HB LED Product Line Director

Earlier this year, the company announced its plan to bring to market low cost 'MAGIC' High Brightness LED products, initially for the replacement incandescent bulb market, within the next six months. The company also plans to develop a range of smart-lighting products that incorporate Plessey’s existing sensing and control technologies.