Soitec (Euronext) and SunEdison Inc. announced that they have entered into a patent cross-license agreement relating to silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer products. The agreement provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio for SOI technologies and ends all outstanding legal disputes between the companies.
“This agreement represents a key milestone in the continuing development of a strong supply chain in the SOI ecosystem,” said Christophe Maleville, Senior Vice President of Digital Electronics Division of Soitec. “It also demonstrates the key role of SOI substrate technology for the current and future CMOS device roadmap.”
“SunEdison has been a leading silicon substrate innovator for over 50 years with a strong patent portfolio,” added Horacio Mendez, Vice President of Semiconductor Advanced Solutions, SunEdison. “This cooperation adds to SunEdison’s current SOI product capability and enhances the ability of both companies to provide more compelling SOI solutions to our customers.”
This agreement provides access to a portfolio of patents from both companies and covers the manufacturing of existing engineered unpatterned handle-substrates such as partially depleted SOI (PD-SOI), fully depleted SOI (FD-SOI) and radio-frequency SOI (RF-SOI) as well as advanced FinFETs.
In addition to the current technologies covered by the agreement, including applications beyond the 10 nm node, Soitec and SunEdison have agreed to grant each other the right to use their respective wholly owned patents for research and development purposes. This will allow the companies to develop products in which the device layer is made of a semiconductor material other than plain, non-strained silicon, such as a silicon-germanium compound, germanium or III-V materials. These advanced semiconductor materials enable the fabrication of high-mobility channels for advanced generation digital applications.
Additional conditions of the agreement have not been disclosed.