By Martin Walker
The US firm which bought the troubled former Fujitsu and RFMD plant last year wants to double its workforce.
Compound Photonics, which acquired the 50,000 sq ft facility on Aycliffe Business Park in July 2013 (pictured above) and employs 107 people, wants to take on 100 skilled staff to support growth into new markets.
The firm makes GaAs semiconductors for aircraft and automotive radar applications and driver aids.
More recently it has also been working on new technology, which uses GaAs-based green, red and infrared lasers for making laser projection devices for mobile devices, ultra high definition 4K projectors and automotive head up displays.
Currently the company is building the world’s smallest 1080p full high definition laser projection light engine designed for mobile device integration, combining electronics, light source, imager and optics.
The move comes as the firm, which employs 107 workers and is making Newton Aycliffe its global headquarters, looks to build on a successful first year in the region.
The Compound Photonics factory was built by Fujitsu, but the Japanese electronics company closed it in 1998, axing about 600 jobs.
It was bought in 2000 by Filtronic, now based at Sedgefield’s NetPark, with RFMD taking over in a £12.5m deal in 2008.