As posted on £38m to make technology for 5G

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Funding of nearly £38m is expected to be announced for a facility to make compound semiconductors – a new technology behind robotics, 5G and driverless cars.

The 10 councils in the Cardiff Capital Region are set to develop the foundry in Newport, which could create about 2,000 high skilled jobs in five years.

The funding follows £12m from the Welsh Government in November 2015.

It could make a world-leading hub for the new technology.

The factory would be owned by the councils and is projected to lever £375m of private sector investment in the next five years.

‘World leader’

Compound semiconductors are expected to revolutionise technology and enable a wide range of developments like robotics, 5G, renewable energy and driverless cars.

Making south east Wales a European centre of excellence for the technology behind modern electronics was central to the £1.2bn City Deal agreed between the local authorities and the Welsh and UK governments.

Welsh company IQE, which is based in St Mellons, Cardiff and exports around the world, has already joined with Cardiff University and the Welsh Government to invest in developing a compound semiconductor cluster in the area.

Already there are number of companies making and using more traditional semiconductors – made of silicon – across south east Wales.

The aim of the latest investment is to create a network of those companies and help them develop further so that Wales can be a world leader in making them and developing technologies that will use them.