OSLO, Norway—Thin Film Electronics ASA has leased a former Qualcomm-owned manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley and will relocate its current U.S. headquarters and NFC (Near Field Communication) Innovation Center in the first quarter of 2017, according to a company press release.
The new location will house Thinfilm’s new high-volume roll-to-roll manufacturing line. Roll-based production will increase Thinfilm’s front-end production capacity to five billion NFC OpenSense™ and NFC SpeedTap™ tags per year—the equivalent of up to $680 million in annual revenue, the company said.
“We’re very excited about the new facility and the role we see it playing in scaling Thinfilm’s manufacturing capabilities, particularly for SpeedTap and OpenSense,” said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s CEO, in the release. “Given the growing market demand for NFC smart packaging, it was vital that we secure a facility that enables us to ramp capacity to ultra-high volumes through roll-to-roll production.”
In the near term, the facility upgrade enables Thinfilm to scale existing sheet-based manufacturing of its NFC, EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance), and Sensor Label products. Roll-to-roll production is expected to be operational for EAS by year-end 2017 and for transistor-based products in 2018.
The building, located at 2581 Junction Avenue in San Jose, California, was formerly an operational display fab run by Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc., and was in production until the spring of 2016. More than $80 million has been invested previously in the 93,000 square-foot facility, which sits on 5.4 acres and features a 22,000-plus-square foot, Class 10-10,000 cleanroom.