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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
Managing mission-critical SAP systems and landscapes has never been easy. Add public cloud with its myriad of powerful cloud native services and this may not change any time soon. Public cloud offers exciting new possibilities for enterprise workloads. But to make use of these possibilities and capabilities, IT teams need to re-think everything they have done before. Otherwise, they will just end up using public cloud as a hosting platform for their workloads, aka known as “lift and shift.”