Compound semiconductors feature as key element in new government strategy
23rd May 2023
Newport, 23 May 2023: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced the publication of the UK Government long-awaited National Semiconductor Strategy in which the strength of UK’s global leadership in compound semiconductors is recognised as providing a key strategic opportunity.
Highlighting the strategic importance of today’s announcement, the South Wales semiconductor cluster hosted a visit by the Rt Hon Chloe Smith MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology along with the Rt Hon David TC Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales, who experienced first-hand the technical facilities, capabilities and close collaboration that has made CSconnected community a recognised leader within the global semiconductor industry.
Semiconductors have changed the way we work and live over the last few decades, ushering in the digital world and enabling a wide range of today’s technologies that are beyond anything our ancestors could have imagined.
Supply chain disruptions have shone a light on the importance of semiconductors across every aspect of our lives with many governments around the world investing heavily to ensure that they can establish or re-establish technical capabilities in this $500B global industry.
Alongside digital technologies, compound semiconductors are found in a wide range of sensing, medical, electric, robotic and high-speed wireless and optical communications systems.
Everything from electric vehicles to space and security applications depend on compound semiconductors, an area in which the UK is acknowledged as a global leader.
CSconnected represents the World’s first cluster of compound semiconductors capabilities based in and around South Wales that operate across many industry sectors.
We welcome the new strategy and look forward to working with the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and other Government agencies to ensure that the UK can continue to deliver and grow its role in global semiconductor supply chains across existing, new and emerging technologies.
The CSconnected cluster includes Cardiff and Swansea Universities, the Compound Semiconductor Centre, the Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult and a number of globally recognised industry leading companies.
Chris Meadows, Director CSconnected said:
“The publication of the National UK Semiconductor Strategy highlights the UK’s leading position in areas such as compound semiconductors that will play an increasingly important role in next generation communications (6G and beyond), quantum technologies and in achieving net-zero targets.”
Wyn Meredith, Chair of CSconnected, said:
“Having a UK strategy in place to complement the US and European Chip Acts is a step in the right direction. It’s critical that the £1B investment package is intelligently leveraged with further private capital. We were keen to show the Minister why the South Wales Cluster has the expertise to help the UK deliver and grow its role in global semiconductor supply chains across existing, new and emerging technologies.”
CSconnected is the collective brand for a growing number of advanced semiconductor related activities in Wales, home to a unique community of academic institutions, prototyping facilities and global, high-volume manufacturing capabilities that collaborate across a range of research and innovation programs. CSconnected is uniquely positioned to develop a global advantage in a sovereign, key enabling technology which will allow Wales and the UK to increase trade globally in critical sectors such as 5G communications, autonomous and electric vehicles, advanced medical devices, and consumer electronics of the future.
In 2020, CSconnected received government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF). The 55-month CSconnected SIPF project has a total value of £43million, supported by £25million of UKRI funds. It builds on Wales's regional strengths and integrates research excellence with a unique regional supply chain in compound semiconductor manufacturing.