Background to the cREOTM Technology

Silex subsidiary Translucent Inc developed a novel set of semiconductor materials known as ‘crystalline Rare Earth Oxides’ (cREOTM) for application to the manufacturing of next generation semiconductor devices used in wireless communications, power electronics and other advanced semiconductor industries. The cREOTM technology was purchased by UK-based IQE (AIM:IQE) in early 2018, in accordance with the 2015 Option, License and Assignment Agreement between Translucent and IQE. As a result, payment of US$5 million was received in September 2018 (in IQE stock). In addition, a perpetual royalty of between 3% and 6% will be payable to Translucent on the sale of any IQE products that utilise the cREOTM technology, with minimum annual royalties expected to commence being paid in FY2020. 

IQE is the global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced semiconductor wafer products used in many of today's advanced semiconductor devices, such as smart phones and wireless technologies. 

IQE's Development of cREOTM

The cREOTM technology was successfully transferred in late 2015 to IQE's Greensboro, North Carolina manufacturing facility for the completion of product development and commercialisation activities. IQE have reported good progress with the development and demonstration of the cREOTM technology for the potential integration of advanced high-performance compound semiconductor materials on silicon wafers across IQE's portfolio. In particular, IQE reported continued strong progress in the development of their 5G RF Filter Materials Portfolio based on the cREOTM technology, and are actively engaged with several semiconductor customers to bring this product to market.

IQE regards the cREOTM technology as an enabling technology that would allow it to make a step change for the integration of various compound semiconductor devices with large scale silicon wafer-based production techniques. This has the potential to significantly lower the cost of production of next generation devices such as chips for wireless communications devices (principally targeting next generation smart phones) and power electronic devices (for example, as commonly found in today's solar inverters and electric vehicles). 

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