Viewpoint: Roadmaps for Compound Semiconductors: Knowledge-based Investments for Next Century
Herbert S. Bennett
Imagine a world without desk-top laser printers or laser fax machines, without cellular telephones or pagers or global positioning, without compact disk (CD) players or CD players or CD-ROMs or digital video disk DVD players, and without the combinations of technologies that make up Information Superhighways. All of these microelectronic, optoelectronic, and wireless marvels have been brought about or enabled by compound semiconductors. Compound semiconductors include all semiconductors made up of two or more elements; but the most notable is the III-V semiconductor gallium arsenide. A few years ago, the total market in these compound semiconductors was measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but today, it is measured in billions. Such semiconductors are critical to the success of many technologies that have opened new markets.