by Hughes Metras, U.S. development, Leti
June 28, 2011 – At Leti’s 13th Annual Review in Grenoble, Leti’s Xavier Hugon described the benefits of III-V compound semiconductors combined with silicon. Leti recently joined a joint venture between Alcatel Lucent and Thales to focus on markets for III-V products, including integrated photonics, high-power and microwave GaN-based devices, cost-effective, highly-selective gas sensors, and thermal and near-infrared imagery.
Combining III-V compounds with proven silicon technologies on large substrates will enable applications such as power electronics, high-speed electronics, light sources, image sensors and photonics. Leti’s expertise in silicon enables the use of larger substrates, which reduces the costs for devices.
There are, however, challenges to bringing these technologies to market, Hugon said — especially lattice mismatch, which he called "the hottest topic" for the next 10 years. Lattice mismatch stems from the differences between the crystal structures of the compounds and silicon, generating mechanical constraints, inducing defects and reducing wafer yield.