The Future of Chips: SMART Announces Successful Way to Commercially Manufacture Novel Integrated Silicon III-V Chips


MIT’s Research Enterprise in Singapore has developed a commercially viable way to create new Silicon III-V Chips, paving the way for intelligent optoelectronic and 5G devices


  • Commercially
    viable manufacturing process will make integrated Silicon III-V Chips available
    by 2020
  • New
    Singapore-developed method does not require tens of billions in industry
    investments – leveraging old 200 mm manufacturing technology and breathing new
    life into mature and depreciated manufacturing infrastructure
  • Integrated
    Silicon III-V chips will enable intelligent illumination and displays, and also
    overcome potential problems with 5G mobile technology.

researcher reviewing a 200 mm Silicon III-V wafer. The innovative and
commercial-ready process by LEES leverages existing 200 mm semiconductor
manufacturing infrastructure to create a new generation of chips that combines traditional
Silicon with III-V devices, something not commercially viable before.

 – 30 September 2019 – The
Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s Research Enterprise in Singapore, has announced the
successful development of a commercially viable way to manufacture integrated
Silicon III-V Chips with high-performance III-V devices inserted into their


In most
devices today, silicon-based CMOS chips are used for computing, but they are
not efficient for illumination and communications, resulting in low efficiency
and heat generation. This is why current 5G mobile devices on the market get very hot upon use and
would shut down after a short time

This is
where III-V semiconductors are valuable. III-V chips are made from elements in
the 3rd and 5th columns of the elemental periodic table such as Gallium Nitride
(GaN) and Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs). Due to their unique properties,
they are exceptionally well suited for optoelectronics (LEDs) and
communications (5G etc) – boosting efficiency substantially.


integrating III-V into silicon, we can build upon existing manufacturing
capabilities and low-cost volume production techniques of silicon and include
the unique optical and electronic functionality of III-V technology,” said
Eugene Fitzgerald, CEO and Director, SMART, MIT’s Research Enterprise in
Singapore. “The new chips will be at the heart of future product innovation and
power the next generation of communications devices, wearables and displays.”


Lee, Senior Scientific Director of the SMART LEES research program adds:
“However, integrating III-V semiconductor devices with silicon in a
commercially viable way is one of the most difficult challenges faced by the
semiconductor industry, even though such integrated circuits have been desired
for decades. Current methods are expensive and inefficient, which is delaying
the availability of the chips the industry needs. With our new process, we can
leverage existing capabilities to manufacture these new integrated Silicon
III-V chips cost-effectively and accelerate the development and adoption of new
technologies that will power economies.”  


The new
technology developed by SMART builds two layers of silicon and III-V devices on
separate substrates and integrates them vertically
together within a micron, which is 1/50th the diameter of a human hair. The
process can use existing 200mm manufacturing tools, which will allow
semiconductor manufacturers in Singapore and around the world to make new use
of their current equipment. Today, the cost of investing in a new manufacturing
technology is in the range of tens of billions of dollars, thus this new
integrated circuit platform is highly cost-effective and will result in much
lower cost novel circuits and electronic systems.

SMART is focusing on creating new chips for
pixelated illumination/display and 5G markets, which has a combined potential
market of over $100B USD. Other markets that SMART’s new integrated Silicon
III-V chips will disrupt include wearable mini-displays, virtual reality
applications, and other imaging technologies.


patent portfolio has been exclusively licensed by New Silicon Corporation Pte.
Ltd. (NSC), a Singapore-based spin-off from SMART. NSC is the first fabless
silicon integrated circuit company with proprietary materials, processes,
devices, and design for monolithic integrated Silicon III-V circuits


new integrated Silicon III-V chips will be available next year and expected in
products by 2021.


resolution images are available at this link.

About Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG)

Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES) IRG is creating new integrated circuit
technologies that result in increased functionality, lower power consumption
and higher performance for electronic systems. These integrated circuits of the
future will impact applications in wireless communications, power electronics,
LED lighting, and displays. LEES has a vertically-integrated research team
possessing expertise in materials, devices, and circuits, comprising multiple
individuals with professional experience within the semiconductor
industry.  This ensures that the research
is targeted to meet the needs of the semiconductor industry both within
Singapore and globally.

For more information, please logon to:

About Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and
Technology (SMART) is MIT’s Research Enterprise in
Singapore, established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in
partnership with the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) since
2007.  SMART is the first entity in the
Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE)
developed by NRF.  SMART serves as an
intellectual and innovation hub for research interactions between MIT and
Singapore. Cutting-edge research projects in areas of interest to both
Singapore and MIT are undertaken at SMART. SMART currently comprises an
Innovation Centre and six Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs): Antimicrobial
Resistance (AMR), BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM), Critical Analytics
for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine (CAMP), Disruptive & Sustainable
Technologies for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP), Future Urban Mobility (FM)
and Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES).


research is funded by the National Research Foundation Singapore under the
CREATE programme.  For more information,
please visit –