Amber waves of strain

AmberWave Systems has filed a complaint against Intel alleging that Intel has infringed its patented technology.


AmberWave Systems has filed a complaint against  processor giant Intel in the US Federal District court in Marshall, Texas, alleging that Intel has infringed its patented technology.


The patent in question – 6,881,632 – relates to the field of strained silicon surface channel MOSFETs, and in particular to using them in CMOS inverters and other integrated circuits.


In a separate action, AmberWave has also filed a counterclaim against Intel in the federal district court in Wilmington, Delaware, alleging infringement of US patent 6,831,292.


That patent describes semiconductor structures and FETs incorporating strained material layers and controlled impurity diffusion gradients.


AmberWave’s counterclaim follows on the heels of Intel’s declaratory relief action, filed on May 25, that sought a determination that Intel did not infringe the same patent.


AmberWave contends that Intel is using its proprietary techniques as part of the strained silicon technology incorporated in its top-of-the-line 90nm Pentium microprocessors.


The litigation arose after Intel refused to negotiate a commercially reasonable license agreement with AmberWave.


“As an engineering firm, we are very proud of the significant advances offered by our patent-protected technologies,” noted AmberWave CEO Richard Faubert.


“Because Intel has been using these proprietary technologies without a license from AmberWave,” Faubert added, “we have no choice but to defend our intellectual property rights”.