June 01, 2005 13:28 ET

Backing From AMRC Benefits Promising High-Tech Startups in Texas

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 1, 2005 -- Four up-and-coming high-tech companies that started in Texas are getting technological and financial boosts from the Advanced Materials Research Center (AMRC), the joint advanced R&D effort involving SEMATECH and Texas universities.

The AMRC beneficiaries include innovators in leading-edge lithography, next-generation lighting, organic RFID systems, optical interconnects, wireless networks, and nanomaterials. Each is receiving technology or support from the AMRC, which was established in 2004 to develop new materials and nanostructures for semiconductors, and to explore opportunities for nanotechnology, biotechnology, and other emerging technologies.

"One of our primary aims in forming the AMRC is to commercialize new technology in ways that can benefit the people of Texas, by helping create the industries and jobs of the future," said Sanjay Banerjee, technology coordinator for the AMRC and a key educator in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. "Here, we have the first fruits of that effort -- four companies that are receiving significant knowledge or support for their commercially feasible innovations."

Banerjee said these companies and their AMRC affiliations include:

--  Molecular Imprints (MII), based in Austin and employing about 90
    people, is doing joint development work with the AMRC. UT's Engineering
    College also purchased one of MII's lithography tools. MII provides
    enabling lithography systems for manufacturing applications in nano
    devices, microstructures, advanced packaging, bio devices, optical
    components and semiconductor devices. UT Engineering professors Grant
    Willson and S.V. Sreenivasan initiated this technology.
--  OrganicID, developing a low-cost, organic electronic process
    technology designed to replace bar codes with printable electronic radio-
    frequency (RF) ID tags. (Silicon RFIDs cost up to $1 each, and are too
    expensive for item-level tagging.) Associated with Dr. Ananth Dodabalapur
    of UT's College of Engineering, OrganicID maintains a technology
    development center located at UT's Microelectronics Research Center, one of
    the facilities making up  the AMRC.
--  Austin-based Xidex Corporation, assisted by AMRC funding and
    facilities, developed one of Texas' first business applications of
    nanotechnology for semiconductor production. The Xidex process uses carbon
    nanotubes as surface sensors for scanning probe microscopes, which can
    measure the dimensions of extremely small features in semiconductor
    devices. Dr. Keith Stevenson of UT's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
    collaborates with Xidex on process development.
--  Dallas-based Zyvex Corp., one of the world's first molecular
    nanotechnology companies, is collaborating with AMRC researchers and has
    teamed with the Texas Workforce Commission on major workforce training in
    nanotech. Zyvex is assisting TSTC in developing the "gold" standard for a
    nanotechnology curriculum focused on advanced nanomanufacturing and an
    internship program that can be replicated by other nanotechnology companies
    and community colleges across the State. SEMATECH has been instrumental in
    creating a consortium of industry partners to accomplish the goals for the
    Nanotechnology Workforce Development Initiative. Zyvex produces R&D tools,
    nanomaterials, and assembled micromachines.
"With these early successes, the AMRC has done a commendable job in realizing its mission to commercialize critical research in advanced technologies," said Michael R. Polcari, SEMATECH President and CEO. "We look forward to the continuation of these promising business collaborations, which we believe will help create the technology clusters of industries and jobs that will benefit Texans for generations to come."

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