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SDK to Produce InGaP HBT Epi Wafers

July 18, 2001

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has concluded an agreement with NTT Advanced Technology Corporation (NTT-AT) under which SDK will begin contract manufacturing of indium gallium phosphide (InGaP) epitaxial wafers to be used in NTT-AT's hetero bipolar transistors (HBT). Demand for InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers is expected to grow steadily for use in the next-generation cellular phones.

The InGaP HBT epitaxial wafer is drawing attention as a key material for devices in the third-generation cellular phones due to its advantages, including improved DC properties and high reliability. With the full-fledged start of the third-generation cellular phone services in the autumn of this year, demand for InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers is expected to increase sharply.

SDK has been producing InP polycrystal / monocrystal mirror and epitaxial wafers for optical fiber communications equipment. In particular, SDK is the leading manufacturer, both in terms of quality and sales volume, of those epitaxial wafers made by the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process. SDK has also been manufacturing semi-insulating gallium arsenide (GaAs) mirror wafers. The addition of the InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers further strengthens SDK's product portfolio in this sector.

SDK and NTT-AT have also concluded a technical tie-up agreement whereby SDK's compound semiconductor volume production technology is combined with NTT-AT's relevant epitaxial growth and device evaluation technologies, ensuring the production of high-quality InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers.
Both parties will initiate joint efforts to develop markets for this product.

SDK will install new facilities in the existing clean room by September 2001 having the capacity to produce 500 pieces per month of InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers. In 2003, the production capacity will be increased to 2,000 pieces a month.

Under the medium-term consolidated business plan, SDK is committed to expanding its compound semiconductors business and maintaining its world-leading position and advanced technology level.

[Reference]

InGaP HBT epitaxial wafers will be used in high-frequency transmitter power amplifiers for the third-generation cellular phones. These HBTs will be small in size, and have high amplifying efficiency and good linear gain with low strain. Compared with field effect transistors, HBTs show lower power strain in broadband region and lower electricity consumption, and can be operated with a single power source. Compared with AlGaAs HBTs, InGaP HBTs have higher reliability and are advantageous in terms of manufacturing process.