Quantum Engineering Laboratory
University of Colorado at Boulder
In 2001 Garret Moddel and Blake Eliasson spun out the metal-insulator tunnel diode technology (see patents) developed at CU, and along with Mike Estes, Steve Shear and Manoja Weiss, formed a start-up company, Phiar Corporation. Phiar was funded in multiple tranches by Menlo Ventures to develop ultra-high-speed diodes for communications applications. Its biggest partner was Motorola, for which Phiar successfully developed a 60 GHz diode (see conference paper). For the first few years Garret Moddel served as President & CEO, and turned over that position to Bob Goodman in 2005, who served until 2008. Under the direction of Michael Cromar, the Operations Director, Phiar set up an excellent fabrication facility for device development and prototype fabrication. Although the technology was highly successful – including being reliable, reproducible, and manufacturable – due to the lack of sufficiently large near-term markets, Phiar shut its doors in 2008. Its technology was acquired by the University of Colorado. More information is available here.