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27 February 2007


Synova to license Laser MicroJet technology to end-users and equipment makers

Synova of Lausanne, Switzerland has unveiled a strategic business model allowing select partners to license its Laser MicroJet technology (patented water jet-guided laser technology for use in the volume production of semiconductors, flat-panel displays, solar cells, medical instrumentation and automotive devices). 

Founded in 1997 and with more than 60 fully operational systems at customer sites worldwide, Synova will continue to develop, sell and service its own Laser MicroJet-based products. However, it will also offer non-exclusive licenses of its Laser MicroJet module (comprising a coupling unit, laser-source and water pump) for integration into both end-user and equipment manufacturer systems. 

Under the terms of end-user licensing agreements, the module is available for purchase royalty free. Modules are also available to equipment manufacturers under a prefixed, royalty-based licensing agreement. To encourage long-term collaboration, the agreements will also encompass technology and knowledge transfer. Synova says its representatives will work closely with licensees to ensure effective integration of the Laser MicroJet to help maintain optimal process flexibility for end-users.

“This move to expand our infrastructure through strategic licensing agreements is a critical part of our growth strategy to serve Laser MicroJet users on a global scale,” says chief executive officer Bernold Richerzhagen.  

By creating a network of strategic channel partners, Synova says the licensing model will facilitate a new revenue stream, and position its technology in additional global markets and applications as well as enabling an increase in production, service and distribution capacity. It will also allows the firm to focus on customers in its core industries:  semiconductors, flat-panel displays, solar energy, medical instruments, and automotive. Primary target applications include dicing and edge grinding of wafers. 

While continuing to target such core markets, Synova is also moving into fields such as photovoltaics/solar cells. In addition, the firm is opening its technology to R&D institutions and universities to foster development of advanced applications. Last year, Synova opened micromachining centers (MMCs) for demonstration, test and development of new applications in Fremont, CA; Boston, MA; Kyoto, Japan; and Seoul, Korea. 

Synova says that it is currently in negotiation over licensing partnerships which it plans to unveil throughout the year and beyond.