GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) has acquired ultra-thin wafer equipment start-up, Twin Creeks Technologies for US$10 million.
In keeping with its goal to diversify its market base and strengthen its technology portfolio, GTAT believes that Twin Creeks proton induced exfoliation (PIE) technology has a multitude of applications in the future which include ultra-thin silicon wafers, silicon carbide, sapphire, germanium as well as other crystalline-based material substrates that could benefit from being much thinner and therefore less costly in the future.
Twin Creeks only came out of stealth mode in March, 2012 when it announced its Hyperion 3, a commercial wafer production system. The deal to acquire the company was said to have been undertaken with Twin Creeks investors. The deal will also include future royalty payments to the investors based on future sales.
GTAT said that included in the acquisition was a portfolio of approximately 30 granted US patents and over 70 pending US and international patent applications.
Vikram Singh, executive vice president of advanced systems development at GTAT said, “Hyperion’s unique ion source and beamline design will enable a wide range of exfoliation applications in markets where thin silicon, silicon carbide, sapphire, germanium and other crystalline material substrates can enable breakthroughs in performance and cost. Hyperion will enable the production of high throughput and optimum thickness substrates that can not be achieved with other ion implant technologies.”
The company said that its new ion implanter engineering team would be based in Danvers, USA and would start the commercialization of the Hyperion 3 technology in late 2014.