FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.


15 July 2008


Fox Group signs second license for its silicon carbide patents

The Fox Group Inc of Deer Park, NY, USA has signed a second non-exclusive license agreement (including sales-based royalties) for patents related to silicon carbide (SiC), this time with a US corporation. This follows a license signed in May with a European company for patents related to SiC and bulk growth of compound semiconductor crystals. 

“Our scientists made significant R&D breakthroughs in the late 1990s that resulted in silicon carbide with no micropipes and very low defect density,” says Barney O’Meara, president and CEO of Fox Group (which was fouded in 1999). “Fox Group owns key patents covering low-defect single-crystal silicon carbide material having less than a specific level of defects, that is, patents for the material itself, regardless of the method of manufacture or of the equipment used.”

However, in May Fox Group said that, with its focus on manufacturing its 350-365nm - wavelength FoxUV LEDs (at its subsidiary in Montréal, Canada), it had discontinued SiC product development and had decided to offer rights to its SiC-related patents.

The latest license provides further validation of the importance of the firm’s patents, especially for silicon carbide with a low level of micropipes and dislocations, says O’Meara.  

Low-defect-density SiC is being used in the production of high-performance power semiconductor devices, such as MOSFETs, HEMTs, JFETs, BJTs, and Schottky barrier and PIN diodes for applications such as power control and correction (inverters, converters, etc). While the RF, optoelectronics, and detector markets can currently tolerate higher defect levels, all SiC manufacturers are working to produce better material, the firm says. 

The SiC-based electronic devices market is projected to exceed $1bn annually within five years. Fox Group expects that eventually all SiC will have low defect levels and thus fall within the claims of its key patents on SiC material.

“We continue to offer rights to our IP portfolio to silicon carbide manufacturers worldwide, and we expect to conclude further license agreements in the near future,” says O’Meara.

See related items:

Fox licenses SiC patents to European firm

Fox Group’s LEDs to be distributed by AP Technologies in UK and Ireland

Search: Fox Group SiC UV LEDs