© Cardiff University General | December 11, 2019
£5m award marks ‘topping out’ of Cardiff research powerhouse
An GBP 80 million Cardiff University powerhouse for Welsh scientific research has been ‘topped out’ by Bouygues UK – backed by over GBP5 million support from Welsh Government and industrial partners.
A consortium led by the University’s Centre for High Frequency Engineering and the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult has won GBP 2.4 million in Welsh Government SMARTExpertise funding to develop high-frequency electronic devices for ‘next generation’ technologies – from 5G and radar to satellite systems. Eleven industrial partners have pledged a further GBP 2.8 million of support. The industry-led project will involve partners in the South Wales compound semiconductor cluster – CSConnected – working in chip design, fabrication, innovative waveform-based characterisation, testing and production. It will help researchers develop Radio Frequency Gallium Nitride (RF-GaN) technologies to make high speed, cost-effective, higher reliability and smaller chips that outperform traditional silicon. Professor Khaled Elgaid, who leads the academic team, says in a press release “Gallium Nitride (GaN) is quickly becoming the technology of choice for many emerging applications, including 5G communications, high-resolution phased-array radars, electronic warfare equipment, automotive collision avoidance radar, healthcare and imaging applications.” “The popularity of GaN stems from the attractive properties the technology exhibits, including high operating voltage and high operational frequency (supporting emerging 5G markets providing high-efficiency tele-communications system, with higher data rate and wider coverage area). In addition, the high-power density and excellent thermal performance offers compact designs and operational robustness in hostile environments, including space applications,” Elgaid continues. The funding announcement coincided with a ‘topping out’ ceremony for the University’s Translational Research Facility (TRF), a high-tech centre designed by HOK London Studio that will house researchers and industry involved in compound semiconductor and catalytic science. Education Minister Kirsty Williams, Bouygues UK Chief Executive Rob Bradley and Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan ‘topped out’ the facility by adding their signatures to a beam on the building’s highest point. Cardiff University is a founding member of CSConnected – a cluster of CS expertise across South Wales which brings together academic, industry and supply chain partners. The University has developed the Institute for Compound Semiconductors – to be based within the TRF - and founded the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), a joint venture with IQE to help translate CS academic knowhow into job creation with industry. Cardiff’s School of Engineering will work alongside the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSAC) and ICS to deliver the CS project. The building is due to open on the Cardiff Innovation Campus in 2021