SP Microtech

Dr Petar Igic from Swansea University’s College of Engineering along with Dr Soroush Faramehr, Dr Matt Elwin and Professor Nebojsa Jamkovic have set up a new company called SP Microtech which is taking advantage of the creation of the world’s first Compound Semiconductor Cluster in South East Wales.

Following the signing of a deal last year which saw the Government contributing £37.9 million to the project, 10 councils have invested in the Compound Semiconductor Cluster (CSC) Foundry which is working in the area of compound semi-conductors – the devices which are set to replace traditional silicon semiconductors in many application areas. Compound semiconductors are at the heart of many devices we use today – from smart phones to tablets and satellite communication systems.

It is an area of UK strength and Dr Igic, who has 20 years of experience of research in power semiconductor devices and technologies, and his colleagues are working to deliver commercial grade sensing solutions for a diverse range of applications in automotive current sensing, high resolution metrology, non-destructive inspection and test, and security screening applications.

Semi-conductors are vital components in modern technology, forming a key part of the integrated circuits in computer chips. The CSC was recently awarded a collaborative R&D project by InnovateUK. The project called CS MAGIC: (Compound Semiconductor MAGnetic Integrated Circuits) focuses on the development of new ultra-sensitive magneto-sensors with integrated electronics and will use technology including a novel GaN device based on a high electron mobility transistor (MagHEMT) concept developed by Petar and his team at Swansea University. The AgorIP project has helped capture and protect the IP and has supported the project through to the second stage of patent registration. AgorIP has also supported the re-writing of the patent content and also helped fund the associated costs. AgorIP is now working with Petar and his team to identify commercial leads for licensing the technology as well as identifying the framework to establish their spin-out company. Dr Igic said having the support of the AgorIP team has meant the process has been far easier including access to funding the project might not have known about or been able to bid for. Dr Igic also praised Swansea University’s support of research, innovation and its commercialisation and said the AgorIP approach ensures they can give back something to Swansea University.
This project is helping to develop technology which not only plays an increasingly vital role in the way we live our lives today but is also driving innovation which will shape the world we live in tomorrow. It is working to deliver commercial grade sensors for applications including automotive current sensing, high resolution metrology, non-destructive inspection and test, and security screening applications. The spin-out company will also serve as a design house for compound semi-conductors – a first in the UK.

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