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Norway-Based Thin Film Electronics Establishes Innovation Center In San Jose, California

Area Development Online News Desk (01/22/2014)
Thin Film Electronics ASA, a Norway-based firm that focuses on commercializing printed electronics, completed acquisition of Kovio technology, including its intellectual property and a 60,000 square foot manufacturing and development facility in San Jose, California. The firm will also establish its Thinfilm NFC Innovation Center in Silicon Valley.

"Adding NFC to our printed electronic memory and sensor platform will allow the seamless exchange of information between Thinfilm's Smart Labels and NFC-enabled phones and tablets." explains Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO. "Kovio technology is the only industry-supported NFC interface in printed electronics. We're launching the Thinfilm NFC Innovation Center with a strong NFC team, significantly expanded intellectual property, and pilot manufacturing."

"The acquisition of Kovio technology is an astute strategic move by Thinfilm. Kovio has impressive capability, NFC products and IP that will accelerate Thinfilm's product roadmap, in addition to giving Thinfilm a substantial presence in Silicon Valley." says Raghu Das, CEO, IDTechEx.

Thinfilm uses printing to manufacture simple integrated electronics at a fraction of the cost of conventional electronics, in highly scalable processes compatible with high-volume, low-cost markets. Thinfilm has integrated sensing, data storage, and display in a label format. Addition of a printed NFC interface will allow Thinfilm's Sensor Labels to link sensor data to apps on mobile devices and/or cloud-based analytics.

Christer Karlsson, Thinfilm CTO explained, "The team here in San Jose can produce NFC Barcodes with well over 1500 active transistors, at pilot scale. Marrying the organic transistors we've been developing with the poly-silicon devices developed at Kovio establishes a formidable barrier-to-entry for future competitors."

"We are particularly excited to have more than 20 of the former Kovio team members joining to open the NFC Innovation Center. This core team will build out the Innovation Center's competence in design, process development and manufacturing," said Karlsson. "The site at Zanker Road, San Jose, is deep in the heart of Silicon Valley, steps from the silicon industry's giants, an ideal location to recruit additional talent into Thinfilm and build the ecosystem."

As part of the acquisition, Thinfilm has also acquired Kovio's technology for Electronic Article Surveillance loss prevention tags. These solutions were developed in partnership with industry leaders such as Tyco Solutions and NedAp and complement Thinfilm's existing offerings in brand protection.

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