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POET Tech makes the next move to commercialisation

The company is aiming to take it's gallium arsenide (GaAs) based technology to the next level

The Board of Directors at POET Technologies has endorsed the next phases of the company’s commercialisation plan put forward by the Special Strategic Committee (SSC) chaired by Executive Director Peter Copetti.

The company is the developer of proprietary planar-optoelectronic technology known as 'POET'. This is a platform for the monolithic fabrication of integrated electronic and optical devices on a single semiconductor wafer.

The multi-pronged approach is based on discussions with potential industry partners and advisers  regarding the company’s two key markets consisting of the military and commercial sector that have been identified as potential early adopters of the POET platform.

While POET’s incorporation in military projects is currently proceeding well, and should provide value in several key verticals, significant value exists in adapting POET for mass production within a commercial semiconductor fab environment.

The company wants to rapidly move to the next phase of its commercialisation plan, which includes addressing feature size and scalability requirements for commercial fabs. The Board has therefore endorsed, and authorised the SSC to proceed on the following recommendations:

    Establishing a POET Development Alliance (PDA) - The company will be establishing relationships with one or more industrial partners looking towards jointly adapting POET to commercial scale III-V implementation. Alliance partners will provide key input including intellectual assets, technical staff, manufacturing capability, and foundry resources. In addition to optimising device parameters and yields, a near-term goal will be to establish comprehensive design rules and a device parameter library for POET, which will proliferate licensed designs in a POET device ecosystem.

    Drive for Reduction of Feature Size to 100nm Range - The company will re-prioritise its technical roadmap by introducing specific milestones associated with reducing feature size from the submicron to the 100nm range in scale, targeting Q4 2013 for that milestone. Consequently, the milestone for full optoelectronic integration on a single die will be re-scheduled to Q2 2014.

Even without this full integration milestone, the 100nm goal anticipates the cadence of commercial III-V foundry capabilities. This roadmap will focus the company’s ODIS subsidiary on developmental work that will allow for scalable production within existing commercial fabs.

    Adoption of a Shareholder Rights Plan (SRP) - The company will be structuring a special SRP to protect the potential value of the company, for all shareholders, during the period where discussions with potential partners may be taking place regarding PDA-related agreements, and as progress on the 100NM project continues.

“This move crystallises the company’s strategy for unlocking the value of our intellectual property,” says Copetti. “A development alliance with the right partners will definitely shorten time-to-market, and help evolve a design ecosystem for POET in the marketplace.”

Further SSC actions will be endorsed by the Board depending on the status of the above initiatives. Copetti adds, “While the new feature-size milestone is a challenge given our commitment to projects in our delivery pipeline, I believe the POET team is more than capable of achieving this goal. There is no doubt that POET can demonstrate its n- and p-channel capability to be a viable and scalable complement to silicon CMOS.”

By offering components with the potential for increased speed, density, reliability, and lower costs, POET offers the semiconductor industry the ability to push Moore’s Law to the next cadence level, overcoming current silicon-based bottlenecks, and potentially changing the roadmap for a broad range of applications.

The POET platform is currently the basis for a number of key projects. These include optical code division multiple access (OCDMA) devices for avionics systems, combined RF/optical phased arrays, optoelectronic directional couplers, and ultra-low-power random access memory (RAM).

With its head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and operations in Storrs, CT, the company, through ODIS Inc., a U.S. company, designs III-V semiconductor devices for military, industrial and commercial applications, including infrared sensor arrays and ultralow-power random access memory.

The firm has 34 patents issued and 7 patents pending for the POET process, with potential high speed and power-efficient applications in devices such as servers, tablet computers and smartphones.

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