Atomera(ATOM) Needham Conference on 1/14/22. CEO believes customers will get to volume production, just a matter of time.

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  • Atomera at Needham Conference on 1/14/22
  • https://wsw.com/webcast/needham116/atom/2254186
  • Summary. The conference was the companies standard slide deck with more emphasis on the royalty potential and business opportunity when MST is adopted. Using the companies slides for royalty potential of a high volume 28nm fab at $58m/node its easy to extrapolate out that a 5nm node would be over $300m/node. As was mentioned MST can be used multiple ways across all 370 existing nodes and 30 future nodes. One node makes them wildly profitable and CEO believes its just a matter of time before adoption in the first volume production. The company has a clean balance sheet with only 23m shares outstanding and enough cash for years.
  • 23m shares o/s, $31.8m cash(3+ years)
  • Total costs $13-14m/yr and $2m/qtr in cash flow i.e. $8m/yr
  • Multiple uses across entire $600b TAM provides many shots on goal
  • One 28nm node provides $58m/yr royalties
  • Multiple JDAs possible this year and next
  • Expect pipeline growth in 22
  • Ramping licenses this year
  • MST improves any other new technology
  • Strong Balance sheet $31.8m in cash
  • 23m shares o/s. No debt, no warrants
  • Using $2m/qtr in cash
  • 3+ years of cash
  • Expects some hiring in 2022
Applicable across entire TAM with multiple uses
Atomera only working with leading Foundries
Huge benefits for customers and huge royalties for Atomera
Over 10 Year Relationships with Tool Suppliers
Easy to see the Advanced Nodes they have been working on will provide much larger royalties

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM): Year End 13f holdings(12/31/21) are up 25% from 12/31/20

At the end of last year I went through all the current 13f filings and other filings that were known and found there were 10.17m shares being held. These include filers like K2 and Peter Appel. Going through the current filings that number has jumped 25% from last year and now is 12.66m shares. Including insider holdings of 2.49m shares now 66% of the 23m shares are closely held. While shares continue to be scooped up by Institutions the outstanding share count has not changed in 2021 and remains at only 23m shares. With over $30m in cash and a burn rate under $3.5m/qtr the company is in perfect position to get multiple partners into high Royalty production that will leverage the tiny share count for huge dollars per share in earnings.

The company so far has developed 3 unique applications of MST in the semiconductor space and all three could be licensed for 1-3% across almost the entire TAM. See chart below. While mobility has been the primary usage so far with MST its application for Dopant Engineering and TDDB/BTI may very well be required for all next generation fabs as a must have to get the yields and reliability required to go into production.

Royalties across entire $600B TAM with 300+ Patents
  • Institutional ownership increased 25% to 12.66m(2021) from 10.17m(2020)
  • Short interest 3.77m(12/15/21) up 58% from 2.38m(12/15/20)

Atomera is engaged in the business of developing, commercializing and licensing proprietary materials, processes and technologies for the $450+ billion semiconductor industry that is growing to $800b by 2028. By incorporating MST, transistors can be smaller, with increased speed, reliability and energy efficiency. In legacy nodes, by adopting MST, performance can be increased and die shrunk so capacity can increase over 30% and help solve the current industry shortage issues. Recent data demonstrated the applicability of MST to leading edge 5/3/2nm fabs meaning MST can be adopted across the entire future $800b TAM. We believe that MST can be widely incorporated into the most common and next generation types of semiconductor products, including analog, logic, optical and memory integrated circuits.

  • Atomera shares outstanding 23.1m
  • Insiders 2.49m or 10.74%
  • Institutions holdings from 13f filings 12.66m or 55%. Below are only the +100k filers plus previous 13f filers like Valley High, Peter Appel, Vulpes and K2.
    • Susquehanna 1.29 million
    • Blackrock Inc. 1.278 million
    • Valley High Capital 1 million
    • Valley High Limited Capital 1 million
    • Vanguard 981k
    • Peter Appel 871k
    • Vulpes Innovative Technologies 743k
    • Hollencrest 724k
    • K2 Energy 520k
    • Statestreet Corp  358k
    • Geode Capital 357k
    • Morgan Stanley 281k
    • Avenir Corp 242k
    • Baird 215k
    • Jane Street Group 195k
    • Northern trust 191k
    • Bard Associates 170k
    • AWM Investment 177k
    • Sargent investment 164k
    • GWM Advisors 161k
    • Citadel Advisors 130k down
    • Commonwealth Equity 102k
    • Brevan Howard Capital 98K
    • https://whalewisdom.com/stock/atmr
  • 15.15m(66%) shares held by Institutions and Insiders
  • Float approx 8m shares before retail estimate
  • Estimate retail holdings 3-6m(guess)
  • Estimated Float less than 2m after retail estimate
  • Short Interest 3.77m(12/15)
  • Cash $31.8m burn rate $3.5m/qrt approx as of 9/30
  • 300 patents granted and pending with 31 new patents filed in 2021
31 Additional Patents Filed in 2021
Multiple additional JDA customers ready to move forward

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM): 66% of shares held by Institutions and Insiders after Q2(2021) filings(revised)

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Every quarter I review all the current 13f filings and get an idea of what is happening with the 23m shares outstanding. Over the last 3 quarters Institutions have added about 1m/quarter. Adding all the 13f filings there are now 12.87m shares accounted for and with insiders holding 2.53m shares approx. 66%(15.37m) of the 23m total outstanding shares can be accounted for as of 6/30. With $34.3m(2+ years) in cash and no need to sell shares the float shrinks every quarter. The big adders this quarter were Millennium(164k), GWM(159k) and Renaissance(118k).

  • Institutions increased 4% to 12.837m(Q2) from 12.34(Q1) and from 10.50k(Q4)
  • 54 Institutions bought/added shares in Q2

Atomera is engaged in the business of developing, commercializing and licensing proprietary materials, processes and technologies for the $450+ billion semiconductor industry that is growing to $750b by 2027. By incorporating MST, transistors can be smaller, with increased speed, reliability and energy efficiency. In legacy nodes, by adopting MST, performance can be increased and die shrunk so capacity can increase over 30% and help solve the current industry shortage issues. Recent data demonstrated the applicability of MST to leading edge 3nm fabs meaning MST can be adopted across the entire $750b TAM. We believe that MST can be widely incorporated into the most common types of semiconductor products, including analog, logic, optical and memory integrated circuits.

  • Atomera shares outstanding 23.1m
  • Insiders 2.53m or 10.99%
  • Institutions holdings from 13f filings 12.837m or 56%. Below are only the +100k filers
    • Blackrock Inc. 1.287 up 29k
    • Valley High Capital 1 million
    • Valley High Limited Capital 1 million
    • Vanguard 964K up 76k
    • Peter Appel 871k
    • Susquehanna 792k up 272k
    • Vulpes Innovative Technologies 743k
    • Hollencrest 655k up 13k
    • K2 Energy 520k
    • Geode Capital 337k up 22k
    • Statestreet Corp  329k up 45k
    • Geode Capital 337k up 22k
    • Morgan Stanley 298k down 10k
    • Citadel Advisors 244k down 120k
    • Avenir Corp 242k up 2k
    • Group one 212k up 125k
    • Baird 208k up 12k
    • Northern trust 201k up 12k
    • Bard Associates 181k down 5k
    • AWM Investment 183k
    • Jane Street Group 181k up 44k
    • Millennium 164k NEW
    • Sargent investment 162k up 9k
    • GWM Advisors 159k NEW
    • Renaissance 118k NEW
    • Brevan Howard Capital 108K
    • https://whalewisdom.com/stock/atmr
  • 15.37m(66%) shares held by Institutions and Insiders
  • Float 7.6m shares before retail estimate
  • Estimate retail holdings 3-6m(guess)
  • Estimated Float less than 2m after retail estimate
  • Cash $34.3m burn rate $3.5m/qrt approx as of 6/30
  • 297 patents granted and pending with 21 patents issued so far in 2021
21 Additional Patents so far in 2021
10 additional customers ready for Phase 4

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM)Q3 Summary: Between the macro of this market and the micro of our technology, Atomera is positioned extremely well to take advantage of this remarkable period in the semiconductor market

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In the last few weeks since the Q3 CC the company has released news of hitting 300 patents and a new blog on how MST is critical to future fabs.

  • Atomera Blog
  • HKMG Devices Work Better With MST, Extending the CMOS Roadmap
  • https://atomera.com/hkmg-devices-work-better-with-mst-extending-the-cmos-roadmap/
  • The device benefit is that MST devices can have a lower threshold voltage for the same grown hafnium oxide thickness.
  • Intermixing reduction in ultra-thin titanium nitride/hafnium oxide film stacks grown on oxygen-inserted silicon and associated reduction of the interface charge dipole
  • https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0068002
  • This discovery opens up a new technique for tuning HKMG electrical characteristics.
  • OI-Si promises significant performance boost for the end-of-roadmap planar CMOS products with HKMG stack due to its unique carrier mobility improvement,34 gate leakage reduction,34 and reduction of random dopant fluctuations.35 In addition, the newly observed interfacial charge dipole reduction opens an opportunity for OI-Si as the metal work function tuning layer in HKMG-based semiconductor products, which is particularly important for next generation non-planar CMOS.

Q3 Summary: There are literally dozens of amazing takeaways from this call. Please read the transcript. The top takeaway should be the JDA customer continues on track and now there are multiple more potential JDAs in the pipeline. Remember JDAs are important because they allow the adoption across multiple nodes upfront where each node can provide hundreds of millions in royalties for as long as the product is made(10+ years). Note that Scott calls out specific companies that are all very likely to be first adopters. The company has been able to restart customer face to face meetings. All have been very positive and the company is able to share ground breaking data. The EPI tool is certified and can start providing wafers to customers. Patents continue to grow at 20% per year and the company is well protected on the IP front. Continued spending on IP increases companies value. One other major point. The potential application of MST is much broader than investors currently know.

We have also continued to work internally and with customers on the use of MST in the most advanced nodes. Even beyond our key technology focus areas, MST is exhibiting other technical benefits that will also provide a significant commercial opportunity.

  • CC Highlights
  • $31.8m in cash. 2+ years. $2.5m in cash used in Q3
  • It seems that every week we hear more announcements of new fabs and higher CapEx forecasts from the big industry players, including TSMC, Samsung, Intel, TI, Sony, UMC, ST, Renaissance and Infineon.
  • I’m pleased to tell you that every single one of our customer visits over the last quarter was positive and was focused on either advancing existing work are starting new engagements.
  • Work with our JDA partner is well underway with strong progress being made towards the objectives set out at the beginning of the JDA
  • In addition, our pipeline of potential new JDAs has expanded this past quarter beyond what we were working on in Q2.
  • The reason why we are seeing expanded JDA opportunities is because of the very compelling data we can show customers in our key technology focus areas.
  • Almost universally the feedback is that we are reaching performance levels that are the best available in the industry. 
  • For the first time this quarter, we’ve been able to show our own measured data to potential customers for proving that using MST on RF-SOI wafers will provide significantly higher performance, enabling more advanced and efficient implementations of the next generation of 5G cellular RF chips.
  • We have also continued to work internally and with customers on the use of MST in the most advanced nodes. 
  • So, far we haven’t really worked with fabless guys in that area, but we’re trying to work with those top three, obviously, without giving any details about who we are working with. 
  • EPI at ASU certified. This month we’ll be able to commence delivering MST wafers to customers in addition to conducting the development work on 300 millimeter wafers necessary to support efforts in the most advanced nodes.
  • As of the end of Q3, we’re now up to 298 patents issued and pending worldwide, which represents growth of over 20% year-on-year. 
  • In summary, this quarter, we have continued to make great technical progress, which we believe will be translated into licenses in the near future. 
  • And I know that we brought them on in August and you haven’t seen much from them yet, but I can tell you that they’re working on things and you’ll start to see much more activity from us in the near future.
  • Craig-Hallum Alpha Select conference in November and the Needham Growth conference in January. 
No customers have stopped development over last 3 years

Even beyond our key technology focus areas, MST is exhibiting other technical benefits that will also provide a significant commercial opportunity. As an example, recently, we identified some additional high potential MST benefits for use on High-K metal gate products, which are used at 28-nanometers and in virtually all the FinFET and gate-all-around nodes. Atomera has been working with professor Suman Datta’s group and Notre Dame to verify the performance benefits for MST on gate-last High-K metal gate devices. Professor Datta was previously recognized by Intel for the development of Intel’s High-K metal gate process.

Ground breaking new results

Suman Datta is an Indian born American engineer. He is the Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Stinson Chair Professor of Nanotechnology at the University of Notre Dame since 2016. Prior to that, he was a Full Professor at Penn State University from 2007 to 2016, and Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation from 1999 to 2007.

Multiple Unique Portfolios to license
  • Arizona State Research Lab
  • Applied Materials EPI Tool
  • Research in the center of next generation fabs location
  • TSMC, Intel

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera(ATOM): Next Generation Fabs Royalty Potential for Atomera’s MST Technology are Huge

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Its always good to remember what the stakes involved here are in terms of potential royalties. MST may become the WD40 of the semiconductor space. Multiple royalty applications across a future $800b semiconductor market.

MST Applicable multiple ways across entire TAM
  • Adoption in older fabs or newer 28nm fabs
  • Assume 2% royalties
  • Wafer royalty $66/wafer
  • IDM piece part royalty example .09/part
  • Using 80K wafers/month
  • Wafers $64m/node
  • IDM $255m/node
  • 500+ Nodes Potential
  • Adoption in next generation 5/3/2nm fabs
  • Assume 2% royalties
  • Wafer royalty 5nm $340/wafer
  • 3nm $500/wafer
  • Range 20k-80k wafers/month
  • 5nm wafers $81m – $326m/node
  • 3nm wafers $125m- $500m/node
  • IDM Royalties typically 4X wafer royalties per node
  • 20+ Nodes Potential

As the next generation fabs start to ramp up in 2022-2025 the royalty potential with the adoption of Atomera’s MST technology must be fully understood to appreciate the transformational effect on the company if only one new node adopts. Recent published data estimated that 5nm fabs will have wafer costs of $17,000/wafer. My estimate is the 3/2nm fabs will likely have wafer costs closer to $25,000/wafer. Numbers like these should make it very clear the 370 older fabs will be used for years to come and are desperate for ways to improve capacity which is also a huge benefit of adopting Atomera’s technology.

  • HKMG Devices Work Better With MST,Extending the CMOS Roadmap
  • By Robert Mears, Atomera Founder and CTO
  • https://atomera.com/hkmg-devices-work-better-with-mst-extending-the-cmos-roadmap/
  • In gate-all-around (GAA) structures under development for the 2/3nm node, the ability of MST to engineer lower Vt can be used to reduce deposited layer dimensions and hence improve the stacking density.
  • In summary, MST offers significant scaling benefits for advanced node development.

As seen in the above article wafer costs will be quite high for next generation fabs. Using the slides from Atomera’s website the estimate for a 28nm fab($3,000/wafer), a 2% royalty rate and 80k wafers/month led to a $58m/year royalty.

2% Royalty, $58m/year Royalties

Using a slide from Atomera’s slide deck I have added both the 5nm and 3nm wafer estimates to the 2019 data. As can be seen using a range of 20k-80k wafers/month and 2% royalties the numbers explode. For a 5nm fab royalties could be $81m – $326m/year for one new node and between $125m – $500m/year for a 3nm node. While these numbers are huge for a company like Atomera, given its 23m shares outstanding and zero debt, the royalties are noise to a large fab selling wafers at $17,000 per wafer. Which means there is no reason not to adopt the technology if it provides advantages that can not be achieved by any other means.

One 5nm node adopts MST = $326m/year royalties

There are three key parts to any technology adoption.

  • Does the technology do what it needs to do i.e. improve performance, reduce cost etc..without impacting reliability
  • Is it cost effective i.e. cost benefit analysis
  • Can it be implemented into a high volume production environment

The first item is by far the easiest to answer. They have half the worlds largest semiconductor companies working with them. If the technology didn’t work they would have dropped out years ago. The first thing any large company does when testing a new technology is to try and prove it does not work. They don’t want to waste precious development dollars on something that has no benefit. The fact none of these 19 companies have dropped out tell us they see the benefits and this represents hundreds of engineers across the space. Not just a few people but teams of the top engineers in semiconductor development, testing and manufacturing.

3+ Years in Phase 3 Indicate Commitment Level

The next question is really the business case. The greatest technology in the world will never be adopted if there is no business case. With the royalty model, 1-3%, adopting MST really is no cost to fabs. The numbers easily show that the fab can make a lot more money, increase capacity or reduce water, power or emissions by adopting MST. Its a win/win for both companies.

Huge benefits for Fab

Given the first two items indicate a high likelihood of adoption the real question is can it be implemented into today’s high volume semiconductor environment? Besides the obvious realization that no company would work and spend money on a new technology if they didn’t strongly think it could be implemented into production there are a few other indicators from the first JDA that convinced me it is very likely. The first is what has been mentioned about the JDA customer. The central engineering group working on approving MST for usage by the entire company(3-6 nodes to start) are not your typical engineers. These are the top gray beards who have been with the company for decades. They have the most experience taking new technology into production. They are the best of the best and their reputations are on the line. This group would never have signed off on the tech transfer if there was any doubt about viability. But it takes time. Your building, testing, analyzing hundreds of thousands of parts. Looking at lot to lot variability, doing life tests and many other items to prove it out. Keep in mind these parts are hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in future revenue for them and they can’t find out years down the road there are issues. Another key piece that the company has talked about with the JDA customer is the central engineering group becomes the advocates within the company for adoption. This is very important because manufacturing groups work with these engineers and if they support the technology it is very likely to be adopted once given the approval.

The real question investors keep asking themselves is why is it taking so long for deals to be signed and adoption. For the deals to be signed one item often overlooked is the size of the numbers being discussed. They aren’t signing a deal for a few million dollars/year. These are hundreds of millions of dollars per year that go for decades. When the potential is to become the industry standard both sides want to be protected. The key is this opportunity is not going away. MST is applicable to new nodes(see Mears blog below) and legacy nodes so the company should not rush into deals unless they get what they want. Sure they could probably lower the royalty rate or give up future benefits but that would leave a lot of money on the table.

The other issues with timing could be as simple as two of their licensees being delayed with covid and a fab fire. STMicro has delayed their new fab about a year and the other licensee, AKM, had a fab fire. The good news with STMicro is they will start moving equipment into their new fab this quarter. The other reason there may also be delays in adopting is the current state of the chip shortage. To start the Phase 4/5 developments you need to be in manufacturing which means that whatever is being currently built is not being built. Given all these fabs are running at full capacity this has to be worked in. On one of the recent calls it was mentioned that multiple customers have completed all their Phase 3 testing and had all the data they needed to move forward. I strongly suspect they are waiting for manufacturing to open up scheduling space to start phase 4/5. They also may be waiting on new equipment, which also has seen long delivery cycles, that will allow easier adoption of new technology as capacity catches up to demand.

As the industry grows at almost a 10% CAGR going forward and are already at capacity fabs will find ways to grow capacity. While the newer fabs coming online in the next few years will be part of that solution the existing fabs will need to come up with ways to increase capacity and the adoption of Atomera’s MST is by far the most cost effective way to do it.

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera(ATOM): Craig Hallum note 9/27 with Synopsys as potential acquirer

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CH morning note on ATOM. 11/15. Don’t think it was published. Just commented on their morning call “Richard Shannon highlights the stock after a strong move late last week. Richard says ATOM posted a blog on Friday discussing new research related to deep submicron capabilities the company’s MST technology can provide. 10x larger than nearer term markets like RF-SOI and 5V analog are compelling. Richard rates ATOM a buy

From original Craig Hallum Report

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM): Are the dots connecting Applied Materials to Atomera’s MST technology for CMOS Imagers?

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Any good investor will tell you the more you can learn about your investment the easier it is to make good investment decisions. With microcap stocks, that have yet to draw a huge number of analysts, digging deeply into a companies prospects can be both challenging and rewarding. With Atomera, a stock I was asked to look into over 5 years ago, there are a ton of clues that could be connected in many different ways but final validation will come when the first industry partner is announced as they head to production. Even the clues that can be found in the recent 10Qs showing the $400k tech transfer payment came from Asia Pacific and additional data indicating the payment very likely came from South Korea are still only speculation that the first JDA is with SK Hynix or Samsung. A recent blog from Applied Materials could be another important clue. If it turns out they are validating Atomera’s MST technology it is another step closer to industry wide adoption. Imagine one of the worlds largest semiconductor equipment providers validating Atomera’s MST technology. They have been partnered together for years so its just a matter of time before details of their partnership become public.

Because the added oxygen layers reduce leakage, the amount of halo doping needed is also reduced, lowering the 1/f noise. The analog circuitry needed for radios and sensor-signal conditioning are particularly susceptible to noise, so any reduction improves performance.

The one area of the Applied Materials blog that stands out is the discussion on CMOS Imagers. In an upcoming seminar Applied Materials will discuss the challenges of next generation image sensors and how to overcome these challenges. On the Atomera website they specifically explain the benefits of using MST in image sensors and also list their high number of patents they own in this space.

CMOS Image Sensors Need Materials Engineering to Continue Scaling

CMOS image sensor (CIS) arrays enable the multiple cameras in today’s smartphones and smart cars. Manufactured at nodes between 45nm and 90nm, they’re arranged into millions of individual light sensitive pixels in groups of three—one each for blue, green and red. 

The conventional means for achieving higher CMOS image sensor resolution is to use a planar scaling process that reduces feature sizes and allows more pixels to be squeezed into a given area. A major obstacle to this manufacturing approach is maintaining sufficiently high levels of dynamic range. This refers to the ability to capture very low light and bright light at the same time, which becomes more difficult because smaller pixels are prone to saturation that can introduce image artifacts.

To enable continued 2D pixel scaling through the next several process nodes, smartphone camera designers will require innovations in materials engineering that enable new isolation and passivation techniques. For example, as more pixels share the same die area they are increasingly subject to crosstalk that can lead to pixel noise and poor image quality. Deep isolation trenches between pixels are required to separate individual signals; however, as planar pixel scaling progresses, these isolation trenches become taller and thinner, creating extremely high aspect ratios. Today these ratios are in the range of 40:1 but could soon reach 60:1 and even 100:1.

From the above Applied Materials blog its obvious the issues being addressed by Applied Materials are the same benefits from adopting MST technology. As the image sensors go to higher resolution the issues that MST can solve only become of increasing importance.

As feature size gets smaller with higher resolution sensors the importance of reduced leakage and Vt variability increase exponentially

Also of importance is the high number of patents that have been issued to Atomera over the last few years in the area of CMOS Imagers. The one highlighted below seems to directly correlate with the Applied Materials blog.

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM)Q2 Summary: Atomera has had some very strong, behind the scenes accomplishments this past quarter that could lead to some very big wins

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Scott Bibaud – President and Chief Executive Officer

Our JDA partner, existing licensees, and other Phase 3 customers, continue to advance their efforts with us, undaunted by the industry’s communications and logistics challenges. We are making headway every day towards the goals our customers established at the beginning of our project

I would say that, as we mentioned, the JDA is on track and we’re hopeful that the Phase 4 will be completed on a very reasonable timeframe.

Q2 Summary: The JDA customer continues on track and all 10 of the companies in Phase 3 continue moving towards production. No development delays as importance and benefits of adopting MST is giving it priority in the fabs even during the high capacity usage they are currently seeing. Ongoing discussions continue with customers for either JDAs or licenses to enter Phase 4 and a deal could happen at any time. Recent whitepaper showed importance for next generation semiconductors and although the paper is targeted at manufacturers of 3D transistors like nanosheets and gate-all-around structures, the benefits described also apply to work going on in memories, CMOS image sensors, and in other advanced products.

  • CC Highlights
  • $34.3m in cash. 2+ years. $2.4m in cash used in Q2
  • Additional JDAs and licenses being discussed. “Could happen at any time” according to CEO.
  • JDA #1 continues on track and all 10 other Phase 3 customers continue making progress and moving forward
  • Even with tight fab capacity MST adoption considered a top priority and no delays in fab development
  • Example slide shows how JDA #1 could have 3 unique product lines adopting upfront which triples royalties
  • MSTcad being used by Phase 3 customers and what has previously taken three 9 month turns(27 months) has been completed in 1.5 months
  • EPI tool fully operational but clean room needs additional equipment to meet certification standards.
  • MST industry wide adoption could happen just like High-K/Metal Gates and Strained Silicon
Companies with multiple Phase 3 engagements likely to be first adopters
JDA #1 will likely have 3 nodes so 3X royalties

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera (ATOM): Companies referencing Atomera’s MST technology in their own patents include Samsung, TSMC, SK Hynix, Applied Materials, Global Foundries, Qualcomm and many others.

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Over the last few years more and more companies have referenced Atomera/Mears Technologies and RJ Mears LLC patent citations (typically cited as “Blanchard et al.”) OR publications cited where Atomera is named. When looking for the 19 companies they have been working with for the last 3+ years it could well be these companies since they are well aware of MST technology and have found ways to utilize it within their own patents. One of Atomera’s foundational patents, FINFET including a superlatice US 7202494B2, has already been cited 72 times. Most of the target IDM customers have referenced Atomera in some way. IDM customers will produce the highest royalties as demonstrated in the example below.

 

The circled companies have either referenced Atomera IP in patents or in papers
IDM Example of 1 node royalties of $255m/year

 

 

  • Global Foundries
  • Transistors with lattice structure
  • Patent 11158722B2
  • Date 10/26/21
  • The present disclosure relates to semiconductor structures and, more particularly, to transistors with an oxygen lattice structure and methods of manufacture. 
  • The structure includes: a sub-collector region in a substrate; a collector region above the substrate; at least one oxygen film separating the sub-collector region and the collector region; an emitter region adjacent to the collector region; and a base region adjacent to the emitter region.
  • Atomera 17 Patents referenced by Global Foundries Patent
  • Semiconductor devices including superlattice depletion layer stack and related methods
  • US9406753B2
  • 8/2/16
  • Semiconductor devices with superlattice layers providing halo implant peak confinement and related method
  • US9899479B2
  • 2/20/18
  • Semiconductor device including a resonant tunneling diode structure with electron mean free path control layers
  • US20180040743A1
  • 1/1/19

 

RJ Mears (Atomera) patents

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/04/21/ed/9abba19de569ed/US7202494.pdf

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/3a/23/67/3888f0d1b1c008/US20060292889A1.pdf

Additional Articles and collaborations

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320844103_Punch-Through_Stop_Doping_Profile_Control_via_Interstitial_Trapping_by_Oxygen-Insertion_Silicon_Channel

Nanomechanics theme leader Tsu-Jae King Liu (Berkeley) collaborates with Texas Instruments and Atomera on projects about SegFET transistor technology for RF applications.

https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2020/EECS-2020-41.pdf

https://e3s-center.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/E3S_Annual_Report_Period10_PUBLIC_final.pdf

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.

Atomera(ATOM): Understanding the entire Intellectual Property(IP) portfolio and who is likely to acquire all or part of the unique pieces

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Atomera is an Intellectual Property licensing company that plans to generate royalties from three unique patent portfolio’s.  Each portfolio can be licensed by itself or sold to the highest bidder. With fixed costs around $15m/year 95% of future royalties will fall to the bottom line and with only 23m shares outstanding the earnings per share can be substantial. Atomera is engaged in the business of developing, commercializing and licensing proprietary materials, processes and technologies for the $450+ billion semiconductor industry that is growing to $750b by 2027. By incorporating MST, transistors can be smaller, with increased speed, reliability and energy efficiency. In legacy nodes, by adopting MST, performance can be increased and die shrunk so capacity can increase over 30% and help solve the current industry shortage issues along with reducing power and water usage that improves the industries carbon footprint. Recent data demonstrated the applicability of MST to leading edge 5/3/2nm fabs meaning MST can be adopted across the entire $750b TAM. Atomera believes that MST can be widely incorporated into the most common types of semiconductor products, including analog, logic, optical and memory integrated circuits.

At least 3 unique portfolios to license

There are at least three unique patent portfolios that can generate royalties or be sold off.  The first portfolio is the one with the the existing JDA in Phase 4 and also covers the additional 10 customers in Phase 3. The goal is for these Phase 3 customers to move into Phase 4/5 and then into production. The second portfolio which will start to come into play with Phase 4 customers will be licensing of specific part designs for production. As an example, the first JDA customer, which we know will be multiple nodes/customer product lines could well also license the second portfolio for unique designs. The third portfolio, which became clearer on its potential with the recent whitepaper, is for next generation fabs in the 5nm and smaller variety. While it is too early to put final valuations on portfolios 2 and 3 it is safe to say that portfolio 2 will likely follow the piece part(Integrated Device Manufacturer – IDM) royalty path with each part earning a royalty and portfolio 3 will be utilized in next generation fabs that cost in excess of $20b each. A $20b fab that may require MST to achieve diffusion profiles on the highest performing processors and memories that have ever been produced should yield very high royalties.

3 out 4 of top 5 in 2021 possible producing MST parts
  • 3 unique patent portfolios to license
  • Core MST Method and Device (Wafer and IDM)
    • Core MST Technology for $450b space
    • 500 nodes potential $64m-$255m/year in royalties per node
  • MST Enabled Devices/Architecture
    • Near term parts using MST (DRAM, CMOS Image Sensors, Varactors, Optical Waveguides etc..)
  • Next-Gen Architectures using MST

Portfolio #1 Core MST Method and Device consists of two unique licensing opportunities for MST. The first is the wafer manufacturers who will supply MST wafers for companies to build parts that can take advantage of all of its unique properties. The second is to semiconductor companies or IDMs who make unique piece parts and in this case it will be a piece part royalty stream. Both will be estimated for royalties per node. In the case of the JDA, that is in Phase 4, that will be IDM or piece part royalties as they have already said it will be used by multiple business units and product lines once approved for usage.

  • Assumptions for portfoilio #1 royalties
  • First adopters will be with largest semiconductor companies
  • There are 370 fabs and around 500 potential nodes
  • Royalties will be 2% which is right in the middle of the 1-3% that company has stated as typical

Foundry Wafer royalties. Large wafer manufacturers, like TSMC/Global Foundries/SMIC, and others shown below, will pay a 2% per wafer royalty to manufacture wafers with MST technology. These wafers will then be used to manufacture parts that can take advantage of the low resistance super high performance wafers. As soon as one of the  large wafer manufacturers start selling these unique wafers the rest must follow quickly in order to stay competitive. Also fabless companies like Qualcomm and Apple will demand multiple sources for these wafers. As shown below each of the worlds largest wafer fabs will generate $58m/node in royalties for Atomera once running at 100%.

Use $58m per node for wafer model
All Tool Suppliers potential acquirers

Individual piece part (IDM) royalties. These will be for companies like Samsung, SK Hynix, STMicro and AsahiKasei(AKM) who are designing parts that will take advantage of the MST properties for lower power, size, voltages or die shrinks that can boost capacity. As can be seen in the slide below for a large customer, like our first JDA, the estimate for royalties is .09/part. A high volume part could generate $255m/node in royalties per year for Atomera. The first JDA is expected to be multiple nodes.

Use $255m/node for IDM model

Portfolio #2. MST Enabled Devices. The company has patented many specific parts in the areas of Image Sensors, memories and varactors. Companies have the option of licensing specific designs. I would expect these royalties to follow the IDM model as discussed above.

Portfolio #3. Next Generation Architectures 5/3/2/1nm fabs . The recent MST blogs and whitepaper discuss how MST will be beneficial for next generation fabs. As seen in the chart the mobility benefits decrease as the feature sizes shrink. This is as expected given how dense the transistors become. But even a 5% mobility improvement would be considered huge at 5nm. The bigger gains as seen in the chart are for Dopant Engineering and TDDB/BTI. Each of these benefits shown in the chart can be licensed individually for a 2% royalty each or possibly all for a 6% royalty total. I suspect in the 3/2/1nm fabs the MST technology will be required to meet the reliability and yield requirements to go into production. So MUST have instead of nice to have. For a 5nm node with $17,000/wafer costs licensing just one of the verticals for 2% generates over $300m/year for each node. Licensing all 3 verticals could take that number up to $900m/year per node. The 3/2/1nm nodes will increase that number by about 25% per node.

5nm wafers generate over $300m/year in royalties, 3nm generates over $400m/year in royalties
MST provides huge benefits across entire TAM

Future Valuation of 3 Unique Patent Portfolios

Trying to figure out the future valuation for Atomera’s IP all 3 portfolios must be taken into account. Portfolio 1 covers the current 370 fabs that cover over 500 nodes. Calculations above have each high volume node in full production valued at between $58m-$255m/year in royalties. Since they are working with half the largest semiconductor companies and have 11 customers in either Phase 3/4 lets say 2 nodes per customer. So 22 nodes and using an average per node of $156m/node brings a yearly estimate of $3.4b/year in royalties. While I think we will start to see royalties in 2022 full running royalties will not kick in until 2023. The 22 nodes estimate is roughly a 5% fab penetration which is on the very conservative side. By 2025 I expect roughly a 50% fab penetration but over time the fab size will come down as smaller fabs come online.

Portfolio 2 which covers unique piece part royalties will much more likely be by a family by family basis. Since these royalties will be part by part and much more likely to be lower volume I will use the wafer fab royalty of $58m/node for each part. By 2023 I could see 5-10 parts fitting into this category or roughly $250m/year in royalties. There is also a strong possibility that certain parts might be sold outright so companies don’t have to share designs.

Portfolio 3 has come much more into focus with the recent whitepaper and data showing how all future fabs will likely adopt MST from the start. First fabs won’t be online until 22/23 at the earliest. While these fabs will produce the bleeding edge parts that typically command the highest royalties I am going to estimate that royalties will only be $300m/year per node. With roughly 20 next generation nodes coming online over the next 5 years figure 5 nodes in 2023, 5 more every year going forward. Roughly $1.5b in royalties per year starting in 2023. Potential is for 3x that total plus royalties will be higher on 3/2/1nm fabs but still unknown.

Summary Valuation

Looking at the three portfolios in full running production in 2023 the company could see over $3b/year in royalties. By 2025 that number could be well over $5b/year. With current cash position of over $30m there is no need to dilute the stock which leaves share count around 23m. With limited overhead of $15m/year almost 100% of the royalties will fall to the bottom line making Atomera the potential CASH COW for the next decade. Unfortunately these numbers are well known since most come out of their presentations. What many people don’t know is every large company has a Mergers and Acquistion (M+A) department within their company. Their job is to find potential targets and determine what they are worth and decide if they should acquire the other company. In Atomera’s case every company they are currently working with has done exactly that. But Atomera management has been working this for a long time and they also know what the numbers are. Until the first Phase 5 is announced I can’t see any offers being made but once the first one hits I think you have 19 customers who all have already done their due diligence. Below I list several companies who could eventually acquire Atomera. Companies like Synopsys and any of the equipment suppliers are high on my list especially with their stock prices so high that they can use shares to purchase with minimal dilution.

Who is most likely to buy Atomera

Many people who look at Atomera ask the question if the technology is so great a large semiconductor company would have bought them years ago. This is the least likely scenario. Just like we are seeing with SoftBank trying to sell ARM to Nvidia none of Nvidia’s competitors who use ARM are excited about licensing from a direct competitor. This is exactly the same problem a large fab would have if they owned the MST technology and another large fab wanted to license. Can you imagine Samsung doing installation on a TSMC node? Not going to happen. But companies like Apple insist that multiple companies be able to produce their parts so they force companies like Qualcomm to develop multiple companies to produce their parts. So while I expect a large numbers of fabs to adopt MST over the next several years the installations will need to be done by companies that are not direct competitors to the fabs themselves in terms of making semiconductors. The list below is likely a good starting point of who would be interested in acquiring the company and the first Phase 5 announcement will certainly bring interest once it becomes obvious that industry adoption is starting. The first Phase 5 qualification erases any doubts about the viability of the MST technology.

Who would be interested in owning Atomera and why

Why would companies like Tesla and Apple be interested in an IP company? It wouldn’t primarily be because of the royalty stream but instead be leverage over the large fabs to make sure they get their parts first.  The industry is seeing a shortage in fab capacity and major automobile and electronics manufacturers are seeing shortages in electronic part deliveries. Since this is probably not going to change in the future having this leverage over the fabs would insure their parts are delivered on time.

Synopsys, Inc. provides electronic design automation software products used to design and test integrated circuits. With the release of MST Cad, which is a speciality program to allow designers to design parts taking advantage of the unique properties of MST. Given they are one of the industries top simulation companies they have the unique ability to understand the value of the MST technology. They are in perfect position to purchase the IP and license to other semiconductor companies given their long relationships with everyone in the industry.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries. They have been a long time partner and are critical for modifying the semiconductor equipment that is used to make wafers to implement MST. They are in the unique position, working with all the fabs, to take advantage of selling equipment specifically to take advantage of MST. This would give them a proprietary advantage in the space. Any of the semiconductor equipment partners they are working with would also be potential acquirers.

SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. SoftBank owns stakes in many technology, energy, and financial companies. The are best known in the IP licensing space having purchased ARM holding, a processor company, for $32b in 2016 and is now selling it for $40b to Nvidia. ARM only creates and licenses its technology as intellectual property (IP), rather than manufacturing and selling its own physical CPUs, GPUs, SoCs or microcontrollers. This is the perfect company to buy or invest in Atomera. While they could just purchase they may decide to take an equity stake in the company and then help speed up adoption by providing resources and contacts within the space. I would guess they could speed adoption to 50% penetration by several years.

Large fabless companies Qualcomm and Broadcom will also be possible acquirers. While not considered in the original analysis since I did not think an individual semiconductor company can own this technology since it needs to be adopted  across the industry it is possible that a fabless semiconductor company could. Since these fabless companies would not be competing with other fabs they could license the MST technology without directly competing with the fabs. In fact the fabless semiconductor companies are in the unique position of needing multiple fabs to adopt as soon as possible and this would help get fab priority for parts and also control their costs by earning royalties.

The reduced diffusion FinFETs analyzed above also exhibit reduced RDF and overall reduced Vt variability, as seen in the table in Fig. 6. Reducing the overall variability allows a tighter specification over the manufacturing range. Since leakage depends exponentially on Vt, the net result is an ability to lower the median Vt, allowing yet higher median current. Conversely, the same current can be achieved for a lower supply voltage. Since power dissipation depends on the square of the supply voltage, this reduction in variability can be used to reduce power.

Boron and phosphorus are well known to diffuse readily in silicon, particularly when they combine with silicon
self-interstitials to form dopant-interstitial pairs. The MST oxygen layers are doubly effective at reducing diffusion,
because they trap and localize the interstitials as well as trapping boron and phosphorus

The main technique currently used by the semiconductor industry to reduce dopant diffusion, is to co-dope silicon
with carbon. Carbon is a substitutional dopant (it sits in the same lattice location compared to where a silicon atom
would normally sit). While the industry has tolerated carbon doping, it brings other issues of changing the silicon
stress, and is recognized as a contaminant which can increase scattering and reduce current.
Carbon doping has been known for more than twenty years, and has been well characterized. The classic
experiment/diagnostic for the effectiveness of carbon doping on diffusion blocking is a boron marker experiment.
Boron is introduced during silicon, silicon-germanium or silicongermanium- carbon epitaxial growth, typically as
two thin regions: one without and one with carbon doping. Once grown the epitaxial stack is then subject to various
anneals, and measured by SIMS

Comparing the MST boron marker with published data for SiGe:C (carbon doping) it can be seen, comparing Fig.
9 and 10, that MST is significantly more effective for the same thermal anneal. While the silicon control is similar in
both experiments, for the SiGe:C case, the peak of the lower boron marker is reduced more than 3x, and the boron
marker broadens by a factor of two, compared to almost no discernable change for MST in Fig. 9. Because of the
quantitative nature of these experiments, the diffusion coefficient under carbon doping and MST can be directly
compared. The result is that MST is more than twice as effective as carbon doping. Furthermore, as we shall see,
the diffusion blocking can be achieved in a very thin epitaxially grown MST region, considerably broadening the
application scope of the MST approach.

Our goal for 2021 was to achieve >90% blocking
for a grown MST region of less than 5nm. The Atomera epi team has risen to the challenge and excelled. The latest
characterization data has shown 99% blocking (compared to silicon controls) of both boron and phosphorus for MST
films thinner than 5nm, under 1000C 20s anneals, and 98% for 1050C 20s anneals. Atomera believes these data
significantly increase the epi applications for MST in advanced devices.

Any due diligence from this site is for entertainment only and not a solicitation to buy or sell Atomera stock. Any estimates are just examples of what is possible and should not be considered financial advise. I have not been compensated in any way and will never be compensated for my reports.