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t was recently my privilege to attend the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between ITRI and OI for a second time.

The first part of the journey started for me back in 2011 with the signing of an MOU between the two organisations. With OI and ITRI priding themselves on both being technological leaders this committed the parties to support each other in developing solutions for the High Brightness LED market. I can’t remember how much a simple LED based bulb cost back then, plus TVs were still still being back lit with light tubes in the majority of cases.

OI placed some of its advanced plasma etch and deposition equipment plus personnel into ITRI to support of the development of solutions for this market. Having this capability in a region that was a hot bed for HBLED development and production was a key factor for Oxford Instruments’ success in developing solutions for the market, plus we could demonstrate these locally without customers traveling outside the region.

In the 6 years since the original MOU the world has moved on enormously; you can buy an LED bulb for a few dollars, plus every TV is back lit by LEDs. These progressions have also had a massive impact on the environment as they are so much more energy efficient to what was generally available in 2011.

In this second MOU both parties have agreed a new set of technological focuses – RF, Power, Optoelectronic and MEMS sensors. To support this, Plasma Technology have placed two new etch systems a PlasmaPro 100 Cobra300 and a PlasmaPro 100 Polaris to complement the other Oxford Instruments processing equipment already sited there. These systems will focus on developing solutions for the R+D and production of SiC based power and RF devices, HEMTs, VCSELs etc., as well as Si based MEMS sensors. The great thing for our customers in the region is that they can come to work with us without getting on an aeroplane for 12 hours.

I am really excited to see where the journey takes us over the next 4-5years, I know with the commitment and technological expertise available from the two parties that it will be even more successful than the first.

Author: Robert Gunn