Government of Canada invests $30 million in iFire Technology's flat panel TV technology

Canadian company to offer affordable hang-on-the-wall TVs



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from iFire Technology Inc.

    TORONTO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ - iFire Technology Inc., a subsidiary of
 The Westaim Corporation (TSE: WED; Nasdaq:   WEDX), today announced that it has
 received a $30-million investment for research and development by the
 Government of Canada. The R&D activities will accelerate iFire Technology's
 launch of its affordable flat panel displays into the large screen consumer TV
 market.
     iFire Technology is developing an affordable digital flat panel
 television that will be less than two-inches thick. By 2004, the consumer
 market for televisions 25 to 50 inches in size is estimated to be US$66-
 billion, with most TV sets selling for less than US$3,000. Existing flat panel
 TV products in this size range sell for three times this amount or more,
 making them unaffordable to most consumers. By the end of 2003, iFire
 Technology's target is to offer consumers a high quality, flat, hang-on-the-
 wall TV at an affordable price.
 
     About iFire(TM) flat panel displays
     Unlike many flat panel display technologies that depend heavily on the
 use of expensive semiconductor-type thin-film manufacturing processes, the
 iFire(TM) flat panel display is a solid-state electroluminescent technology
 that relies mostly on lower cost, thick-film processes. Its manufacturing
 process uses a simple screen-printing technique well known in the capacitor
 and printed circuit board industry that is less sensitive to contaminants.
 This translates into fewer process steps, higher yields and lower-cost
 production equipment and facilities.
     iFire(TM) flat panel display technology has advanced faster than any
 other display technology in history. iFire Technology's Toronto research and
 development facility has grown from 20 employees to more than 150 in the last
 two years.
     Compared with most other flat panel technologies, an iFire(TM) flat panel
 display is a very simple device. It does not involve vacuum, gases or liquids,
 making it more robust than other flat panel technologies with reduced
 susceptibility to shock, vibration and breakage. iFire(TM) displays emit light
 from the front portion of the display, resulting in a wide viewing angle and
 crisp, clear, full-color images. iFire(TM) flat panel displays boast one of
 the widest operating temperature ranges of any electronic display technology,
 meeting the demanding requirements of transportation displays and other high-
 reliability applications.
 
     About The Westaim Corporation
     The Westaim Corporation is a technology accelerator that launches
 exceptional technologies into the marketplace. In addition to iFire Technology
 Inc., its technology investments include Westaim Biomedical Corp., which has
 developed an infection control technology for use in the treatment of wounds,
 and Savvion, a leader in e-business management software. Westaim's common
 shares are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol WEDX and on The Toronto Stock
 Exchange under the symbol WED.
 
     This news release may contain forward-looking statements. These
 statements are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and
 uncertainties, and the Company can give no assurance that these expectations
 are correct. Various factors could cause actual results to differ materially
 from those projected in such statements, including financial considerations
 and those predicting the timing and market acceptance of future products. The
 Company disclaims any intention or obligations to revise forward-looking
 statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or
 otherwise. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their
 entirety by this Cautionary Statement.
 
 

SOURCE iFire Technology Inc.
    TORONTO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ - iFire Technology Inc., a subsidiary of
 The Westaim Corporation (TSE: WED; Nasdaq:   WEDX), today announced that it has
 received a $30-million investment for research and development by the
 Government of Canada. The R&D activities will accelerate iFire Technology's
 launch of its affordable flat panel displays into the large screen consumer TV
 market.
     iFire Technology is developing an affordable digital flat panel
 television that will be less than two-inches thick. By 2004, the consumer
 market for televisions 25 to 50 inches in size is estimated to be US$66-
 billion, with most TV sets selling for less than US$3,000. Existing flat panel
 TV products in this size range sell for three times this amount or more,
 making them unaffordable to most consumers. By the end of 2003, iFire
 Technology's target is to offer consumers a high quality, flat, hang-on-the-
 wall TV at an affordable price.
 
     About iFire(TM) flat panel displays
     Unlike many flat panel display technologies that depend heavily on the
 use of expensive semiconductor-type thin-film manufacturing processes, the
 iFire(TM) flat panel display is a solid-state electroluminescent technology
 that relies mostly on lower cost, thick-film processes. Its manufacturing
 process uses a simple screen-printing technique well known in the capacitor
 and printed circuit board industry that is less sensitive to contaminants.
 This translates into fewer process steps, higher yields and lower-cost
 production equipment and facilities.
     iFire(TM) flat panel display technology has advanced faster than any
 other display technology in history. iFire Technology's Toronto research and
 development facility has grown from 20 employees to more than 150 in the last
 two years.
     Compared with most other flat panel technologies, an iFire(TM) flat panel
 display is a very simple device. It does not involve vacuum, gases or liquids,
 making it more robust than other flat panel technologies with reduced
 susceptibility to shock, vibration and breakage. iFire(TM) displays emit light
 from the front portion of the display, resulting in a wide viewing angle and
 crisp, clear, full-color images. iFire(TM) flat panel displays boast one of
 the widest operating temperature ranges of any electronic display technology,
 meeting the demanding requirements of transportation displays and other high-
 reliability applications.
 
     About The Westaim Corporation
     The Westaim Corporation is a technology accelerator that launches
 exceptional technologies into the marketplace. In addition to iFire Technology
 Inc., its technology investments include Westaim Biomedical Corp., which has
 developed an infection control technology for use in the treatment of wounds,
 and Savvion, a leader in e-business management software. Westaim's common
 shares are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol WEDX and on The Toronto Stock
 Exchange under the symbol WED.
 
     This news release may contain forward-looking statements. These
 statements are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and
 uncertainties, and the Company can give no assurance that these expectations
 are correct. Various factors could cause actual results to differ materially
 from those projected in such statements, including financial considerations
 and those predicting the timing and market acceptance of future products. The
 Company disclaims any intention or obligations to revise forward-looking
 statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or
 otherwise. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their
 entirety by this Cautionary Statement.
 
 SOURCE iFire Technology Inc.