Wafer maker IQE sues foundry Tower over porous silicon

Wafer maker IQE sues foundry Tower over porous silicon

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

IQE plc (Cardiff, Wales), a leading supplier of engineered wafers and substrates, has announced it has filed a lawsuit against foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel).

IQE claims there is evidence suggesting misappropriation of IQE’s trade secrets relating to its “porous silicon” technology. The porous silicon could underpin device used in 5G cellular communications and to make sensors, IQE said.

IQE filed its complaint in US federal court in California (case number 8:22-cv-00867) under federal and California state law in relation to the misappropriation of trade secrets, correction of inventorship, breach of contract, unfair competition, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

Tom Dale, general counsel at IQE, said in a statement: “We brought about these claims as we have significant reason to believe that Tower has misappropriated IQE’s proprietary trade secrets for its own benefit. Our technology, processes and intellectual property are vital in underpinning IQE’s products and solutions and in maintaining our market-leading position in advanced semiconductor materials. We will vigorously protect them and will provide further updates as material developments occur.”

Tower Semiconductor, a leading analog and mixed-signal foundry supplier of chips, is in the process of being acquired by Intel Corp.

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