ThinFilm Expands in San Jose

We reported on Thinfilm’s new printed electrochromic label last week (ThinFilm Smart Label Starts to Ship) and now we have heard that the company is building a new fab in San Jose, in a plant previously used by Qualcomm, and which is expected to come into full production in the third quarter of 2018, with development of the plant starting this summer. The company makes NFC devices and electronic article surveillance (EAS) chips (used to prevent theft) using inkjet-type production processes. There are already 115 staff at the plant, which is close to the firm’s existing plant in North San Jose.

The chips will be made using a new roll-to-roll process and will start with EAS at the end of 2017, with NFC coming in Q3 2018. The firm’s capacity will grow from around 24 million chips per year to around five billion, but could be scaled up later. Total investment is around $32 million to $34 million. Analysts quoted in the San Jose Mercury News said that ThinFilm is burning through a lot of money and needs to get traction for its technology.