Intel, AmberWave drop swords, ink 10-year license pact

March 6, 2007 – AmberWave Systems Corp., a developer of strained silicon IP, and Intel Corp. have settled back-and-forth litigation ongoing since 2005, with the companies now agreeing to a multiyear licensing deal. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The companies also will continue to evaluate AmberWave’s ongoing R&D efforts.

One detail they did reveal about the licensing is intriguing — Intel gains a license to all AmberWave patents including existing patent applications and even any patent apps that are filed, over the next 10 years. There was no explanation whether/how much of AmberWave’s IP includes local strain vs. global strain, or if the 10-year deal includes future nodes.

Complaints first surfaced in mid-2005, with AmberWave alleging that Intel used two of its patents in the 90nm Pentium microprocessors, relating to a method of fabricating CMOS inverters and ICs utilizing strained surface channel MOSFETS, and another regarding “semiconductor structures employing strained material layers with defined impurity gradients and methods for fabricating same.” AmberWave later added a third patent to its petition, regarding “methods of fabricating semiconductor structures having epitaxially grown source and drain elements.”


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