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
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
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
SOURCE NVE Corporation