Single Crystal Materials and RF Filter Wafer Technology Qualified for Pre-Production
XBAW Manufacturing Process Now Fully Controlled by Company’s Quality Management System
Akoustis Shifts Focus to Customer Acquisition and High-Volume Manufacturing
Charlotte, NC, July 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), a manufacturer of patented single-crystal bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today that it has completed the qualification of its first generation XBAW wafer technology and the underlying single crystal materials process at its Canandaigua, NY fabrication facility.
The XBAW-1 (XB1) process establishes the industry’s first single crystal BAW technology for the expanding RF filter market for 4G/LTE, 5G mobile, 5G infrastructure, WiFi, military radar and other applications. The XB1 process features:
Patented single crystal piezoelectric materials
Novel MEMS wafer manufacturing
High-Frequency RF performance from 1.5 GHz – 7 GHz
High linearity and wide bandwidth performance
Compatibility with conventional and flip-chip packaging
Jeff Shealy, Founder and CEO of Akoustis Technologies said, “Reaching this critical milestone, we have moved from pure R&D to the commercialization of our patented single crystal BAW technology. We are now positioned to concentrate on the delivery of high performance RF filters for current customer engagements to support WiFi, mobile devices and infrastructure, radar and other wireless applications. We expect to achieve full product qualification of our first three announced products, the AKF-1252, the AKF-1938 and the AKF-1652 later this calendar year now that our patented technology has been fully qualified in our New York wafer manufacturing facility.”
The Akoustis technology development process consists of the following five phases:
Pre-Alpha – Demonstrate basic feasibility / capabilities
Alpha – Develop stable recipe (Process Freeze) with limited product development
Beta – Complete technology qualification (Process Qualification) in factory to enable product design
Pre-Production – Demonstrate lead product production capabilities, release final design tools
Production – Continual improvement of process and parametric performance
In March 2018, Akoustis announced the completion of the alpha-phase for its XB1 process and today it has completed the beta-phase qualification for both XB1 and the single crystal materials process. This shortens the development cycle time for new catalog and custom components as each new product will start in the pre-production phase and will not require end-to-end qualification.
Since March, Akoustis has manufactured multiple XB1 wafer lots and, utilizing the data from these lots, has established all necessary controls and supporting documentation within its ISO9001:2015 certified quality management system to ensure the robustness and repeatability of the process as the pre-production phase of development begins for multiple products.
Joel Morgan, Director of Quality, commented, “These qualifications are a major milestone towards introducing this technology to the market. The speed at which the XBAW process was conceived, developed, and qualified is quite remarkable and speaks highly of the capabilities of the development team. This provides confidence that the next steps of product qualification and release, along with the rollout of design support tools for potential foundry customers, will result in the rapid release of products, beginning later this year.”
About Akoustis Technologies, Inc.
Akoustis® (https://akoustis.com) is a high-tech BAW RF filter solutions company that is pioneering next-generation materials science to address the market requirements for improved RF filters – targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. The Company utilizes its proprietary XBAW single-crystal BAW manufacturing process to produce bulk acoustic wave RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of high-purity, single crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology which drives electro-mechanical coupling and translates to wide filter bandwidth.
The Company plans to service the fast growing multi-billion-dollar market of device OEMs, network providers, and consumers to diminish front end phone heat, battery drain and signal loss — all considered to be directly related to current RF polycrystalline filter technologies’ limitations. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. ISO-9001 certified commercial wafer-manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a class 100 / class 1000 cleanroom facility – tooled for 150-mm diameter wafers – for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filters, MEMS and other semiconductor devices. Akoustis Technologies, Inc. is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor near Charlotte, North Carolina.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are intended to be covered by the “safe harbor” created by those sections. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans or strategies for the future (including our possible future results of operations, business strategies, competitive position, potential growth opportunities, potential market opportunities and the effects of competition), and the assumptions underlying such statements. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “intend,” “forecast,” “seek,” “potential,” “continue” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, these forward-looking statements are based on management’s current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated include, without limitation, risks relating to the results of our research and development activities, including uncertainties relating to semiconductor process manufacturing; the development of our XBAWTM technology and products presently under development and the anticipated timing of such development; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights that are valuable to our business, including patent and other intellectual property rights; our ability to successfully market and sell products based on our technologies; the ability to achieve qualification of our products for commercial manufacturing in a timely manner and the size and growth of the potential markets for any products so qualified; the rate and degree of market acceptance of any of our products; and our ability to raise funding to support operations and the continued development and qualification of our products and the technologies underlying them. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in more detail in the Part I, Item 1A – Risk Factors of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Considering these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking statements regarding future events and circumstances discussed in this press release may not occur, and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements included in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly or privately any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, for any reason after the date of this press release to conform these statements to new information, actual results or to changes in our expectations.
Director of Investor Relations
The Del Mar Consulting Group, Inc.
Robert B. Prag, President