March 7, 2011 — Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Thales announced that CEA-Leti has joined the III-V Lab. The public-private partnership will combine III-V semiconductor and silicon technologies, opening up new research perspectives and dynamics targeting telecom, industrial control, environmental testing, defense, security, and space applications.

The enlarged III-V Lab will include more than 130 researchers, technicians, and doctoral candidates.

Partnering expertise in silicon, microelectronics and heterogeneous integration, the lab’s goals include:

  • The integration of speed, power and optical capabilities of III-V components on silicon CMOS integrated circuits (ICs);
  • Development of smarter, smaller components with innovative features by heterogeneously integrating active III-V components (optical, microwave, high-power components) with silicon circuits and microsystems;
  • The production of III-V components on silicon substrates and in silicon microelectronic manufacturing lines to reduce costs.

Established in 2004 by Alcatel and Thales, the III-V Lab has enabled rapid development of a common platform for dual-use optoelectronic and microelectronic technology for markets addressed by the two groups, such as telecom, space, defense and security. CEA-Leti will significantly broaden the scope of the lab’s targeted applications by combining its IP and expertise in silicon, microelectronics and microsystems and in heterogeneous integration.

Focusing on practical applications for the combined potential of semiconductors and silicon, the III-V Lab will focus on four primary areas of research and markets:

  • Integrated photonic circuits that combine the active and passive functions of III-V and silicon for high-speed telecommunications and data transfer;
  • High-power and microwave GaN-based microelectronics to increase the power density, robustness, energy efficiency and compactness of telecommunication, avionics, satellite, defense, energy and transport systems;
  • A new generation of cost-effective, compact, ultra-sensitive, highly-selective gas sensors for use in security, industrial process control, and environmental monitoring; and
  • Thermal and near-infrared imagery for security and defense applications. The lab will develop new types of detectors with increased resolution while reducing overall cost and speeding their adoption in the industrial-quality control, transportation and environmental markets.

"The integration in a silicon microelectronic platform is on our roadmap to further improve performance, cost and energy consumption," said Gee Rittenhouse, head of Research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs.

"As the third partner in the III-V lab, Leti adds deep expertise and essential silicon capabilities to our existing strengths in III-V semiconductors, opening broader opportunities for innovation. Thales will be provided stronger competitive advantages through the III-V Lab, thanks to the early availability for system developments of new components with breakthrough performances," said Marko Erman, SVP Research & Technology at Thales.

Leti CEO Laurent Malier added that the joint venture model enables partners to accomplish technologies and goals that were unacheivable in silos. "Moreover, each partner can capitalize on the developments and transfer new technologies to our customers."

III-V Lab is located south of Paris in what will become the heart of the Paris Sud Saclay project, a major science and technology park that will combine research organizations, universities, Grandes Ecoles and corporate facilities.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE : ALU) is a leader in mobile, fixed, IP and optics technologies, and a pioneer in applications and services. Alcatel-Lucent includes Bell Labs, one of the world’s foremost centres of research and innovation in communications technology. Learn more at http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Thales is a global technology leader for the defense and security and aerospace and transport markets.

CEA is a French research and technology organization, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defense and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications. For more information, visit www.leti.fr.

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