The Group IV Semiconductor Story
Group IV Semiconductor's founders weren't planning to invent a better lightbulb when they started out in 2002. They were simply trying to prove that contrary to prevailing wisdom an "indirect-bandgap" material like silicon indeed could potentially emit visible light without overheating or eating up too much power.
Inspired by early successes, they began to consider the potential applications and realized the enormous opportunities for the technology in solid-state lighting… and in 2003 Group IV Semiconductor was born.
Group IV joined forces with scientists and engineers at McMaster University to further develop the rare-earth-doped, silicon-rich silicon oxide films that made solid-state lighting possible. The success of this collaboration gained early support and funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Business Development Bank of Canada. That led to further investment from the private sector, including one of the first investments made by Vinod Khosla's new investment firm, Khosla Ventures. Vinod Khosla is a founder of Sun Microsystems and an Affiliated Partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
A convergence of strengths
Group IV Semiconductor (which takes its name from the segment of the Periodic Table where silicon is located) is based in Ottawa, Canada. Ottawa is an international centre of excellence in optoelectronics, home to many global technology corporations and world-leading research institutions. This ideal location puts a wealth of experience and expertise at the disposal of the Group IV teamand gives the company access to the National Research Council’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC). As a result, Group IV is able to carry out its development work in a truly world-class facility.
Group IV’s objective is to create and sell high-efficiency solid-state light engines. These will be used by lamp manufacturers to build products for commercial and consumer use. Working in partnership with these manufacturers, Group IV Semiconductor seeks to access the world’s US$12 billion annual light-bulb marketwhile significantly reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and criteria air contaminants (CACs) by cutting down on the need for electricity generation. To prepare for product manufacturing and deployment, the company is collaborating with Applied Materials, Inc., the global leader in nanomanufacturing technology solutions for the electronics industry, with additional funding from Garage Ventures Canada and Applied Ventures.