Thinfilm’s new high-volume manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley now operational


Thin Film Electronics from Norway, a global leader in NFC (near field communication) mobile marketing and smart product solutions, announced that the fab at its new Junction Avenue facility is now operational and that the first product lots have shipped. The milestone coincides with Thinfilm’s grand opening event at the former Qualcomm-owned site, attended by more than 200 guests including the Mayor of San Jose, California, Sam Liccardo.

In October of 2016, Thinfilm announced it had leased the property at 2581 Junction Avenue for 12 years from Lowe Enterprises Investors and its joint venture partner, Vista Investment Group. Over several months, Thinfilm transitioned its sheet-based manufacturing operation from its former Zanker Road facility to the new site, and employees officially moved in on 24 April.

Thinfilm’s manufacturing team has been actively ramping up the new fab and, as of 15 June, has attained the following milestones:

  • All processing tools recommissioned
  • Cleanroom modifications complete, with resumption of 24/7 operations
  • Redundancy in place for all critical processing tools in the fab
  • EAS lots fully manufactured at Junction Avenue site have completed processing and have shipped
  • NFC lots fully manufactured at Junction Avenue site have initiated processing; expected completion by end of Q2

The tool redundancy matches the sheet-based expansion initiated at the Zanker Road site, which equates to 40M units of NFC die front-end capacity annually, and over 60M units of EAS die front-end capacity annually. EAS volumes will be supplemented by the start of roll-based manufacturing by the end of 2017, which is on schedule. Roll-based manufacturing of EAS and NFC will further increase capacity to the billions of units annually.

“Scaling our NFC manufacturing capabilities to ultra-high volumes is a critical step in meeting the growing demand we see among today’s leading consumer brands. Our new roll-to-roll manufacturing line – and the state-of-the-art fab that houses it – will enable us to do just that,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “Thinfilm is proud to bring silicon and manufacturing back to Silicon Valley, and we look forward to providing our innovative NFC solutions to many more customers around the globe.”

Caption: NFC OpenSense tags from Thinfilm have found several mass market applications in the last few years (photo: Thinfilm)

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