A NEWPORT-BASED company is going to be part of the next industrial revolution according to the Welsh Government’s economy minister.

Vaughan Gething was speaking during a visit to SPTS Technologies, which designs and manufactures the wafer processing equipment used by leading businesses in the global semiconductor sector.

SPTS Technologies is one of four South Wales ‘anchor’ companies that make up a compound semiconductor cluster. They are joined by IQE, Newport Wafer Fan and Microchip.

Compound semiconductors are important components for devices including Apple iPhones and Wi-Fi technology.

In 2015, the Welsh Government provided the investment to develop the cluster and was the catalyst for Wales to become the leading centre for compound semiconductor expertise in the world.

SPTS Technologies won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2020 and currently employs 447 people at its Wales HQ. It also has significant expansion plans for the Welsh operation.


The cluster members – which have also seen tech-start-up company Rockley Photonics use the facilities offered by Newport Wafer Fab and IQE – generates more than £600m in revenue between them each year.

More than 2,000 people are employed in the compound semiconductor sector and its supply chain in Wales.

Mr Gething said: “We are immensely proud of the world-leading compound semiconductor ecosystem we helped foster here in Wales. It is a high potential network translating state-of-the-art research and innovation capabilities into world-class Welsh manufacturing for new and emerging global technology markets.

“This ‘next generation’ technology shapes our lives today and will improve our experiences of tomorrow – from electric vehicles, to face recognition in smart phones, and space applications.

“The sector is of huge significance to Wales, providing high value employment and a real magnet for foreign direct investment. It also underpins development in so many other industries, and we believe it can deliver against our Programme for Government by driving a stronger, greener economy, and contributing to the net-zero decarbonisation challenge.

“We have invested in infrastructure to bridge academic discovery and commercial application, supported companies to develop innovative products for new markets and encouraged collaboration through our Open Innovation programme.

“SPTS is a shining example in this exciting field, and I am delighted they are significantly expanding their Welsh operation, which stretches back 40 years. I wish them the best of luck for the future as they continue to fly the flag for high-tech success in Wales.”