Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc. (*Nasdaq: AMAT), has made a strategic investment in Semprius. The investment will be used for the development of a novel transfer printing technology for the manufacture of advanced semiconductor devices.
Semprius Inc, a US based semiconductor technology company is developing unique patented technology for the transfer printing of high-performance semiconductors onto virtually any hard surface, including glass, flexible or rigid plastic, metal or other semiconductors. Semprius' technology will provide the ability to create novel devices and systems by liberating the semiconductor from its traditional rigid substrate. Very tiny circuits can be efficiently and cost effectively transferred by the hundreds, and even thousands, at a time in the printing process.
"We are delighted to have Applied Ventures as an investor," said Joe Carr, CEO of Semprius. "Because we are developing capabilities suitable to a wide range of applications, relationships with world leaders such as Applied Materials are key to our development and business strategy."
"Semprius' printing technology is in line with Applied Venture's investment strategy to stimulate the growth of applications for semiconductors, displays and other product areas," said J. Christopher Moran, Vice President and General Manager of Applied Ventures. "We believe Semprius has unique technology that can offer significant performance and cost advantages for many advanced electronic applications."
In April 2007, Semprius raised $4.7 million in Series A funding from Arch Venture Partners, Intersouth Partners and Illinois Ventures to continue its process development. They were also recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant by the National Science Foundation to help demonstrate transfer printing of high-performance semiconductors on flexible materials.
In June, Semprius received the 2007 Spin-out of the Year award given by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the largest entrepreneurial support organization in the nation. Last fall, the company won top honors in The Wall Street Journal's Sixth Annual Technology Innovation Award in the semiconductor category.
IDTechEx notes that the peel-and-transfer approach to getting high performance transistors onto low cost flexible substrates is also being used by Innos in the UK with pentacene drive circuits for flexible printed electrophoretic displays and by many Japanese companies, including Sharp. None are commercial as yet and they will not achieve the lowest costs or highest volumes of output but the flexible printed devices resulting do have superlative performance.
Source of top image: Semprius