EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NVE Corporation (Nasdaq: NVEC) has received an initial order from Starkey Laboratories Inc. for custom-designed ultra-miniature spintronic sensor integrated circuits. The NVE devices will replace electromechanical sensors in Starkey hearing aids. The order has a value of more than $100,000 with shipments scheduled to begin in early 2005. Starkey has said that the NVE product could eventually be used in all of its hearing aids, which could lead to additional orders. The sensors use NVE's patented Giant Magnetoresistor (GMR) elements embedded in a conventional integrated circuit. Giant Magnetoresistors are nanotechnology spintronic devices that produce "giant" changes in resistance when subjected to magnetic fields. The GMR effect requires conduction layers thinner than the mean free path of conduction electrons. The critical conduction layers in the devices for Starkey are approximately three nanometers thick, less than ten atomic layers and less than one-ten thousandth the thickness of a piece of tissue paper. "The small size, high precision, and low power of the NVE devices allow us to reduce the size and increase the performance of our hearing aids," said Thomas Victorian, Starkey's vice president of engineering. "Prototype hearing aids incorporating these NVE sensors have performed extremely well in real- world field tests. The new sensor will make it easier for patients to use cellphones or other electronic devices and improve the quality of our patients' lives." NVE President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel A. Baker, Ph.D. added, "Starkey is an innovative force in their industry, and we are proud to be part of a major product improvement. This order is the culmination of rigorous testing and qualification by Starkey, and an important step in our goal of expanding our presence in the medical sensor market with the world's only GMR medical sensors." The medical sensor market is projected to grow to $845 million in 2008, from $600 million in 2003, according to The Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company. Privately-held Starkey Laboratories Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of custom hearing instruments with 33 facilities in 18 countries and a workforce of over 4,000. NVE is a leader in the practical commercialization of spintronics, a nanotechnology which many experts believe represents the next generation of microelectronics. NVE licenses its MRAM intellectual property and sells spintronic products, including sensors and couplers to revolutionize data sensing and transmission. Statements used in this press release that relate to future plans, events, financial results or performance are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including, among others, such factors as risk of order cancellations, risks related to competitive threats, risks associated with our reliance on several large customers, and risks associated with meeting stringent customer technical requirements, as well as the risk factors listed from time to time in our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-KSB and other reports filed with the SEC.
SOURCE NVE Corporation