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Spotlight On


A spotlight on Plessey


This month’s spotlight is shining on Plessey. Michael LeGoff, CEO of the company talks to CIE editor, Amy Wallington about his role within the business, how the business is evolving and how LEDs are being used in different markets within the industry


Michael LeGoff M


ichael LeGoff became CEO of Plessey when the company relaunched in 2009. His career path has taken in a variety of executive roles, including CEO of Dynex Semiconductor, a position he held from 1995 to 2006. He also holds a physics degree and an MBA.


How has Plessey evolved as a business?


Plessey Semiconductors has been in the UK semiconductor market for over 60


34 March 2017


years, continually innovating. We relaunched in 2009 with a refreshed brand and more focused operations. Our goal was (and still is) to bring our long-standing semiconductor expertise to the solid-state lighting industry. We identified a way to improve LEDs, replacing the costly and sometimes inefficient system of using sapphire (aluminium oxide) substrates with one where you deposit gallium nitride (GaN) on large-diameter silicon substrates. We’ve put significant money – more than £60 million – behind this technology to develop it from a concept into something commercially viable. After demonstrating the validity of the technology in 2009, we installed our initial reactor in 2012. Consequently, we became the first company to make commercial LEDs on large-diameter silicon substrates. We have since continually grown our range of products and are gaining considerable traction in wearables, horticulture, architecture, retail and industry.


Why do you believe GaN-on- silicon will transform LED manufacturing?


The characteristics of GaN-on-silicon mean that it’s likely to supersede all other substrates used for LED production. Why? LEDs made with GaN-on-silicon emit as many (or more) lumens per watt and are more reliable because of their higher thermal performance, are dramatically more cost-effective, and provide much greater wafer-wide uniformity. Lastly, GaN- on-silicon LEDs can be produced in sizes


Components in Electronics www.cieonline.co.uk


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