Motorola has taken steps to commercialise its new compound semiconductor-on-silicon technology by creating a focused business unit and wholly-owned subsidiary called Thoughtbeam.
Thoughtbeam launches with a management team led by Padmasree Warrior, corporate vice president of Motorola, as the general manager. Warrior was previously chief technology officer and director of the 1100 member central R&D organisation for Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector.
Motorola has also signed its first licensing agreement for production of gallium arsenide (GaAs)-on-silicon wafers with IQE, the world’s largest dedicated manufacturer of outsourced epitaxial wafers and services.
‘This technology has the potential to benefit multiple industries, from semiconductors to communications to optoelectronics, and we plan to license it broadly,’ said Warrior. ‘The next step is to ensure that a supply of GaAs-on-silicon wafers is made available to potential customers for their internal evaluation. So, in addition to the commercial license, we have also now authorised IQE to produce and supply GaAs-on-silicon wafers for our Evaluation Program.’
IQE anticipates that it can begin supplying evaluation wafers in the first half of 2002.
In order to support IQE’s efforts to commercialise the technology, Motorola has committed to invest $10 million in connection with IQE’s upcoming equity financing. In connection with the financing, which is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals, IQE will also grant share warrants to Motorola.
The technology, developed by Motorola Labs, successfully combines the best properties of silicon technology with the speed and optical capabilities of compound semiconductors that are known as the III-V materials.