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IQE Licenses Translucent's III-V-on-silicon Technology

Agreement provides path to market for new approach to MOCVD growth of III-N materials

IQE has signed an agreement with Silex System's subsidiary, Translucent, for the exclusive licence of Translucent's crystalline Rare Earth Oxide (cREO) semiconductor technology, and taken an option to subsequently acquire the technology.  

Translucent's  cREO technology offers a new approach to the manufacture of a wide range of compound semiconductor on silicon products, including  GaN on silicon for the growing power switching and RF technologies markets.  It is protected by a wide ranging IP portfolio consisting of 74 granted patents, and 13 additional patent applications.

Translucent's crystalline rare earth epitaxial layers are designed to be high quality templates for the MOCVD growth of  III-V and III-N devices on silicon substrates. Available in both 150mm and 200mm diameters, the templates have been used for the grown of power GaN HEMT epiwafers. These templates provide an entry point for new adopters of power GaN supporting both AlN first MOCVD but also enabling GaN first growth processes not currently available for MOCVD growth on silicon.

Since the template is grown independently of the III-N, its properties can be designed to support the upstream MOCVD process "“ for example the buried oxide can take a portion of the vertical breakdown or can be used to offset some of the mechanical stresses imparted traditional GaN-on-silicon. Focused on serving the power GaN market this technology also has applicability to both RF GaN and GaN LEDs on silicon.

CEO Drew Nelson said: "This is a first class deal and great opportunity for IQE. We are at the forefront of a new era in the semiconductor industry which is bringing to market unique high performance compound semiconductor materials required for the modern 'Internet of Things' world.  At the same time we are leveraging the low cost and large wafer size benefits of the silicon industry that has been at the core of the information technology revolution over the last 40 years. We are very excited to be able to take Translucent's unique cREO technology to market, and thereby create a significant new platform to drive our business into several new large volume areas".

Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy said: "This is a great outcome for Translucent, representing an excellent path to market for the cREO technology after an extensive research and development program over the past decade by our team in Palo Alto, California. IQE is the world's leading epiwafer supplier, and epitaxy is the  key technology  for the introduction of new high performance materials required for the continued evolution of the global semiconductor industry. IQE is very well positioned to capitalise on the introduction of new semiconductor materials, and is the best commercial partner to take Translucent's unique technology to market."

The agreement provides IQE with an exclusive 30 month licence for the commercialisation of the Translucent cREO technology and an exclusive option (exercisable solely at IQE's discretion) on the subsequent acquisition of the cREO technology

IQE will pay Silex up to a maximum consideration of $1.5 million, payable within six months of the date of the agreement in either cash or IQE shares,  for the  the licence and option agreement

 The agreement includes the transfer of a range of manufacturing and characterisation equipment from Translucent to IQE, and also includes the exclusive services of two key engineers for 12 months in order to  transfer the cREO technology to IQE. Translucent will then cease all operations in Palo Alto, California, their sole development site

 All new IP generated relating to the technology will belong exclusively to IQE.



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