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II-VI Expands Optics Manufacturing to the UK

The company’s purchase of Kaiam’s manufacturing and cleanroom facility will help further increase production of optics and RF-chip devices.

II-VI Inc. announces that it purchased a facility previously owned by Kaiam Laster Ltd. in the UK  for $80 million. Initially built by Fujitsu, the Newton Aycliffe facility includes a 100,000-square-ft. clean room, and was purchased by Kaiam three months ago from Compound Photonics.

The facility currently produces mostly gallium arsenide (GaAs) RF devices, but II-VI Inc. expresses plans to begin production of optical components called vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL), as it has done in other recently purchased facilities.

"This acquisition will significantly expand our capacity and is expected to enable us over time to penetrate high-growth markets driven by, for example, 3-D sensing, 5G wireless, the electrification of the car, and data center communications," says II-VI President and CEO Vincent (Chuck) Mattera in a statement.

The company has made other acquisitions this past year to increase production of solid state and optic devices. With the purchase of Anadigics in 2016, it gained a manufacturing plant in New Jersey used to produce 6-in. gallium arsenide (GaAs) wafers. II-VI expressed plans to use the space’s equipment to build its VCSELs. The company also decided to sell some of Anadigics’ radio-frequency technology for around $45 million last year.

Kaiam CEO, Bardia Peseshki says that Kaiam will remain involved in production after the purchase. “I am looking forward to working with II-VI to establish a commercial relationship that includes having II-VI provide InP-based epitaxial wafers and wafer fabrication services for our products as we continue to expand our transceiver business in the rapidly growing 100G and impending 400G datacenter markets,” he says.

II-VI also expanded its Champaign, Ill., factory in December 2106 to quadruple the number compound semiconductor chips produced at the plant. II-VI had just acquired the factory which was previously operated by chipmaker, Epiworks in February.

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