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Thinfilm's Financial Report Fourth Quarter and Preliminary Results for 2011
In the fourth quarter, Thinfilm took another important step towards enabling printed integrated systems and smart tags for the "Internet of Things" (IoT) by securing exclusive access to commercial-scale supplies of organic semiconductor inks as well as technology agreements for sensor, battery and display components. These recent achievements have led to significant interest in the company and its technology from various strategic and commercial parties.
- Established key partnerships for enabling fully printed integrated systems and smart tags: Technology partnerships with Polyera (organic semiconductor inks), PST Sensors (temperature sensor), Imprint Energy (battery) and Acreo (display).
- Thinfilm, PARC received 2012 FlexTech Alliance Innovation Award: Industry recognition for Thinfilm Addressable Memory, as a platform for fully-printed electronic systems.
- Initiated development of integrated system prototype: First temperature sensor tag expected during 2012.
Thinfilm made significant progress during the fourth quarter of 2011 and in early 2012, in its strategy of expanding into printed transistors and logic. Thinfilm made three important steps towards the mass production of low-cost, low-power, ubiquitous smart tags. In October 2011, a successful prototype of scalable printed CMOS memory was demonstrated, showing that Thinfilm memory can be made addressable by incorporation of printed organic logic circuits, developed jointly with PARC, a Xerox company. This is a critical milestone towards the creation of fully-printed smart tags, combining memory and logic with other printed components such as sensors, batteries, displays and antennas. In November 2011, this was followed by the announcement of a partnership with Polyera, to produce high-mobility semiconductor inks for mass production of CMOS memory. Most recently, key partnerships for display, sensor and battery technology were established in January 2012, securing the remaining "building blocks" for enabling integrated systems and smart tags.
"Integrating our printed memory with logic and other printed components will not only enable smart tags for the Internet of Things (IoT), but it will also allow Thinfilm to capture a larger share of the future value chain," says Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO.
In February 2012, Thinfilm and PARC received international recognition for their work on printed addressable memory by winning the prestigious FlexTech Alliance Innovation Award.
Thinfilm has initiated the work of building the first integrated system prototype; a temperature sensor tag that will be developed jointly with technology partners during 2012.
"We estimate the addressable market for low-cost temperature tags to be in the range of USD 1-2 billion," says Torgrim Takle, Thinfilm CFO, and explains Thinfilm's strategy for the future product development and market entry. "When analyzing the existing temperature sensor market, we found that relatively simple color changing labels, which are only containing qualitative information, are being sold in massive volumes at 10-40 cents. We believe this is a perfect entry point to demonstrate Thinfilm's unique cost-functionality position in an existing market".
Thinfilm's technology partners have all been chosen based on their ability to meet the required cost and functionality specifications for the respective sensor, battery and display components. "We are excited to work with these companies, and are confident that they have the right technologies for commercializing a low-cost temperature sensor tag within the next years," concludes Takle.
In November 2011, Thinfilm made the 20-bit memory technology more broadly accessible by offering Arduino-powered development kits through Inventables - "the innovator's hardware online store."
"Numerous development kits have been sold to major strategic accounts also outside the toys and games industry, underpinning the need for making Thinfilm's market-leading memory technology available for innovation across a wide range of industries," says Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO. Thinfilm continues to see strong interest for its stand-alone memory products in the toys and games industry, and is working focused towards full commercialization of 20-bit memory.
"We have recently received very positive feedback from our prioritized toys and games partners, including statements that Thinfilm offers the world's cheapest 20-bit rewritable memory. We believe that is a strong indication of future success in this market," says Sutija.
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