Silex subsidiary Translucent Inc developed a novel set of semiconductor materials known as ‘crystalline Rare Earth Oxides’ (cREO®) for application to the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor devices (such as wireless and optical communications) which use high-performance compound semiconductor materials rather than silicon. cREO® is a potentially enabling platform technology that could create a step-change in the integration of various compound semiconductor devices with large scale silicon wafer-based production techniques.
The cREO® technology was purchased by UK-based IQE in accordance with the 2015 License and Assignment Agreement. Under this Agreement, Translucent is currently eligible for minimum annual royalties and ultimately, a perpetual royalty of at least 3% will be payable to Translucent on the sales revenues from any IQE products that utilise the cREO® technology. The second minimum royalty payment of US$400,000 for the year ended CY2020 was received in early 2021.
IQE is the global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced semiconductor wafer products used in many of today’s advanced semiconductor devices and is a key player in the emerging 5G wireless technologies market. IQE operates manufacturing facilities in the US, UK and Asia. The current focus for the cREO® technology is in the application to 5G mobile handset components.
IQE’s Solution – IQepiMo™ based on cREO®
IQE has developed a new high frequency 5G filter product (called IQepiMo™) which is built on the cREO® technology platform. Following a period of customer and partner device trials, IQE announced in February 2021 the achievement of a key demonstration milestone for IQepiMo™, disclosing that the trials showed significant improvement in the performance of its 5G filter device, compared to incumbent technology. Additional trials of the new RF filter product are continuing with IQE’s partners.
cREO® may also apply to other opportunities beyond 5G filters including Power Electronics and these opportunities may be explored by IQE at a later date.