Quantum photonic boost with UK foundry launch

December 02, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Wales launches foundry for quantum photonic components
The QuantumFoundry (QFoundry) set up by the Compound Semiconductor Centre in Cardiff, Wales, will boost the delivery of quantum photonic components.

QFoundry is a three-year, £5.7m (€6.3m) comound semiconductor foundry project part-funded by the UK government. The project will use standard semiconductor techniques to enable the manufacture of quantum photonics components for applications ranging from secure communications to imaging and healthcare diagnostics.

The initial areas of focus include Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) and single-photon emitters and detectors. The VCSELs are for potential use in atomic clocks and atomic magnetometers, while single-photon devices are used in quantum communications, computing, imaging and sensing applications. IQE in Wales is a major supplier of substrates for VCSELs, and CEO Drew Nelson is stepping down, partly to work more on the Compound Semiconductor Applicatons Catapult based n Newport, Wales.

"QFoundry can perhaps be described as the missing piece in pathway to commercialisation, and the project will lay the groundwork towards a new UK quantum component industry," said Wyn Meredith, Director of Compound Semiconductor Centre.

The consortium led by the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) comprises: Amethyst Research, Bay Photonics, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, CSconnected Ltd., Cardiff University, Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS), IQE, Microchip Technology, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Toshiba Europe, The National Epitaxy Facility, and the universities of Cambridge and Sheffield. They plan to deliver a national open-access quantum semiconductor device foundry.

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