Welcome!

News Feed Item

Thinfilm Acquires Kovio Technology, Opens Silicon Valley NFC Innovation Center

Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm") (OSE: THIN.OL), leader in commercializing printed electronics, announced today that it has completed acquisition of Kovio technology, intellectual property, and manufacturing assets, and has opened the Thinfilm NFC Innovation Center in the heart of 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.

Internet of Things-redefining a megatrend

Gartner cites "Internet of Things" as one of the top 10 strategic trends of this decade. Analysts and companies alike are predicting markets in the trillions of dollars by 2020-Gartner $1.9 trillion, IDC $8.9 trillion, Cisco $19 trillion. Industry giants such as Intel, IBM, Cisco, Qualcomm and NXP are placing major bets on IoT, and the San Jose Mercury News calls IoT a technological transformation "as profound as the Industrial Revolution," in which "Silicon Valley companies that make the circuits are expected to profit enormously."

Yet most applications of IoT focus on fixed infrastructure, where the sensor is a static node at the edge of the network and data is routed to a central server.

Low-cost, disposable sensor labels-able to autonomously collect information to later be read by NFC phones and tablets-offer a fundamentally different approach. With over 400 million NFC-enabled smart phones already deployed, a number projected to grow to 1 billion by 2015, linking ubiquitous sensors on Thinfilm Smart Labels with the mobile platform creates a fluid and agile alternative to traditional data infrastructures. It is this agile network that will truly launch the Internet of Everything.

Thinfilm Sensor Labels

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.

Future applications could include.

  • Temperature exposure of perishable goods, such as food and pharmaceuticals can be verified without heavy infrastructure
  • Disposable medical tests can be distributed to remote clinics and homes, with results communicated to medical records through the mobile device
  • Humidity can be detected in the walls of new construction, to monitor for leaks in pipes
  • Soldiers and pilots can be tested for 'readiness' based on bio-markers, allowing check-in before active service
  • Smart appliances can re-order supplies when an indicator says the product quantity is getting low
  • Patients can be monitored with one-time use devices for blood-oxygen levels, pulse readings, and other vital signs, and data gathered with the tap of a phone

Integration of Kovio technology accelerates time-to-market for NFC labels, and expands both Thinfilm's manufacturing capacity and intellectual property portfolio.

Unique marriage of technologies creates significant barriers to entry

"Printed transistor circuits are an important capability to enable truly smart devices but there are few companies in the world that have the know-how to produce these. Kovio is one of them," remarks Das.

Christer Karlsson, Thinfilm CTO explains, "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."

The Kovio NFC Barcode(TM) is the only NFC interface in printed electronics and is supported commercially by Google Android and numerous NFC controllers being deployed in phones around the world. Thinfilm expects to demonstrate NFC-readable sensor labels by year-end.

Thinfilm NFC Innovation Center

"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," adds 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."

Included in the acquisition:

  • Over 200 international patents and patents pending covering electronic inks, NFC and RF applications and protocols, process technologies, devices and circuits
  • Installed pilot manufacturing capacity of 100s of millions of units per year
  • 60,000 square foot manufacturing and development site
  • Kovio product lines in NFC and Electronic Article Surveillance
  • Encore software platform to support cloud-based data exchange

Broadening the Thinfilm portfolio

As part of the acquisition, Thinfilm has also acquired Kovio's technology for Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) 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.

Thinfilm has also built a global team supporting the development of custom designs of integrated systems in ultra-low-cost electronics. According to Das, "Thinfilm is filling the need in the printed electronics industry by putting together complete solutions." Thinfilm will continue to pursue strategic partnerships, such as those it has with the Bemis Company, Brady Corporation, and Hasbro to accelerate the introduction of printed electronic systems into a wide range of markets.

"Thinfilm is the only company that is moving the needle when it comes to delivering printed electronics," said Randall Sherman, founder and president of New Venture Research.

Financial Terms

Thinfilm completed the acquisition of Kovio assets for a total of 2.7 USDm in cash and 1.0 USDm in equity, consisting of 1.0 million of Thinfilm shares, acquired by Kovio creditors at 5.92 NOK/share.

About Thin Film Electronics ASA

Thin Film Electronics ASA (Ticker: THIN.OL) is a leader in the development of Printed Electronics. The first to commercialize printed rewritable memory, Thinfilm is creating printed system products that will include memory, sensing, display and wireless communication-at a cost-per-functionality unmatched by any other electronic technology. Thinfilm's roadmap of system products integrates technology from a strong and growing ecosystem of partners to enable the Internet of Things by bringing intelligence to disposable goods. Company headquarters are in Oslo, Norway, with product development in Linköping, Sweden, sales offices in San Francisco, USA, and Tokyo, Japan, and manufacturing in Pyongtaek, South Korea. http://www.thinfilm.no/

Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThinfilmMemory

Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/thin-film-electronics

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.