Technology: Semiconductor

IBK Capital raised $47 million for POET Technologies Inc. (formerly OPEL Technologies Inc.) to develop its POET platform.  POET is an integrated circuit platform that will power the next wave of innovation in integrated circuits, by combining electronics and optics onto a single chip for massive improvements in size, power, speed and cost.  The company’s current IP portfolio includes more than 34 patents and 7 pending.  POET’s core principles have been in development by Chief Scientist Dr. Geoff Taylor and his team at the University of Connecticut for the past 18 years, and are now nearing readiness for commercialization opportunities.

Key benefits of the POET platform include:

  • 100x speed improvement over CMOS silicon (silicon hits a “power wall” at about 4 GHz that has limited circuit speeds to about 3.2 GHz over the last 10 years);
  • 10-100x power efficiency improvement over CMOS silicon (depending on application);
  • Flexible application that can be applied to virtually any technical application, including memory, digital/mobile, sensor/laser and electro-optical, among many others; and,
  • No retrofit or other modifications to existing silicon fabs required – Since POET/PET are CMOS technologies fabricated using standard lithography techniques, they are easily integrated into current semiconductor production facilities extending the profitable utilization of fabrication equipment and production lines that would otherwise be considered at the end of life.

Potential applications include:

  • POET’s technology can surpass speed limits of widely used CMOS silicon chips and is much better positioned for stacking multiple chips to increase performance;
  • A functional POET device may reduce the power consumption of laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers, and/or other electronic devices by 80%;
  • Leads to drastic reduction in device size and battery power consumption – Power reduction in commercial-scale server farms represents tremendous cost savings to companies like IBM, Google and Intel – In November 2011, Hewlett Packard announced that it is working with numerous chip manufacturers to create ultraefficient, low-energy servers aimed at companies running large scale remote computing operations such as Twitter and Facebook; and,
  • POET can also produce an infra-red sensor for use in air, sea, ground, and space with sensitivity that is an order of magnitude higher than existing technology.

The global revenue in 2013 of the semiconductor industry was around US$285 billion while the value of the products comprising micro and nano electronic components represents around US$1,550 billion.  The impact on the global economy is estimated at 10% of worldwide GDP.

Semiconductors underpin a significant part of the worldwide economy.  The semiconductor industry provides the key enabling technology solutions for society in the fields of energy efficiency, mobility, healthcare, security and across the ICT sector including the realization of the smart grid and more efficient lighting.  The semiconductor industry is ranked as the most R&D intensive sector in the world.  An example of POET’s addressable market is the PC & cell phone IC market which is expected to grow to over $220 billion by 2016 with the global electronic component and semiconductor industry reaching $628 billion by 2016.