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15 November 2012

GT acquires Twin Creeks for $10m

GT Advanced Technologies Inc of Merrimack, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and electronics markets) has acquired certain capital assets and intellectual property of Twin Creeks Technologies Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, which has developed an ion implanter technology that enables the production of lower-cost thin substrates with minimal material (kerf) loss. The assets were purchased from Twin Creeks’ lenders in a private sale for about $10m plus royalties that will be based on future sales.

GT expects that Twin Creeks’ unique Hyperion ion implanter technology will have broad application in the production of engineered substrates for power semiconductors and thin wafers for solar applications. In addition, GT expects to pursue the development of thin sapphire laminates for use in applications such as cover and touch-screen devices. Hyperion has the potential to minimize, or in some cases eliminate, the need for wafering saws, which could significantly lower the cost of production, it is reckoned.

The assets acquired by GT relate primarily to the Hyperion ion implanter as well as Twin Creeks’ portfolio of about 30 granted US patents and over 70 pending US and international patent applications. GT’s ion implanter engineering team will be based in Danvers, MA.

“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,” says Vikram Singh, executive VP of advanced systems development. “Hyperion will enable the production of high-throughput and optimum-thickness substrates that can not be achieved with other ion implant technologies,” he adds.

“The acquisition of these assets from Twin Creeks, coupled with our operational expertise and proven ability to commercialize innovative technology, will allow us to develop a new line of products that can deliver advancements in performance and value in the core markets we serve today as well as new markets that we have identified,” says GT’s president & CEO Tom Gutierrez. “We are particularly excited about the potential applications in the cover and touch-screen markets,” he adds. “This continues GT's strategic diversification into new and promising markets with technology that delivers superior value to customers over existing products currently available.” 

GT expects to start commercialization of the technology in late 2014.

Tags: GT Twin Creeks sapphire furnace



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