Synova to License Innovative Laser MicroJet® Technology to End Users and Select Equipment Manufacturers


New Licensing Model Enables Wider Adoption of State-of-the-Art Hybrid Laser Technology; Positions Synova to Focus on Core Markets

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb. 27 -- Synova, the world pioneer and patent holder of water jet-guided laser technology, today unfolded a strategic business model allowing select partners to license its proprietary Laser MicroJet® technology. While the company will continue to develop, sell and service its own Laser MicroJet-based products, equipment manufacturers spanning various industries will now be able to integrate Synova's Laser MicroJet modules into their own tools, and end users will be able to integrate these modules directly into their production lines. By creating a network of strategic channel partners, this licensing model will facilitate a new revenue stream for the company, as well as firmly position Synova's technology in additional global markets and applications. It will also enable an immediate increase in production, service and distribution capacity, allowing the company to focus more deeply on serving customers in its core industries: semiconductors, flat-panel displays, solar energy, medical instruments and automotive.

Under the new model, Synova will offer non-exclusive licensing of its Laser MicroJet module -- comprising a coupling unit, laser-source and water pump -- for integration into both end-user and equipment manufacturer systems. Under the terms of end-user licensing agreements, the module is available for purchase royalty free. Modules are also available to equipment manufacturers under a prefixed, royalty-based licensing agreement. To encourage long-term collaboration, the agreements will also encompass technology and knowledge transfer. Synova representatives will work closely with licensees to ensure effective integration of the Laser MicroJet to help them maintain optimal process flexibility for their end customers.

"Synova has evolved tremendously in the last decade since our founding. We've moved from building credibility and awareness of our technology to now solving our biggest challenge yet: how best to satisfy the explosion of demand for Laser MicroJet in so many diverse markets and application areas," said Synova's chief executive officer, Bernold Richerzhagen. "This move to expand our infrastructure through strategic licensing agreements is a critical part of our growth strategy to serve Laser MicroJet users on a global scale. We look forward to working closely with our licensing partners to ensure flawless integration into their systems and manufacturing lines."

Synova's Laser MicroJet has been successfully validated in a production environment. Aside from the unrivaled performance results achieved by combining a laser beam and water jet, another key technology factor attracting broad market interest is the Laser MicroJet's highly flexible and easily adaptable process for a wide range of applications. The technology's primary target applications include: dicing and edge grinding of semiconductor wafers; organic light-emitting diode (OLED) mask scribing, grooving and cutting for flat-panel displays; inkjet printer-head slotting; cutting of hard materials (e.g., polycrystalline diamonds, cubic boron nitride, etc.), as well as many others. While continuing to target these core markets, Synova is also moving into leading-edge fields such as photovoltaics/solar cells and medical instrumentation. In addition, the company is opening its technology to R&D institutions and universities to foster development of advanced applications.

Synova is currently in negotiation with a number of industry leaders whose established presence and knowledge of key markets for Laser MicroJet will deliver strategic value-add for end-use customers. The company plans to unveil these licensing partnerships throughout the year and beyond.

This new business model is the latest move in the company's ongoing efforts to penetrate new markets and heighten its ability to service customers. Most recently, Synova opened micromachining centers (MMCs) for demonstration, test and development of new applications -- located in Fremont, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Kyoto, Japan; and Seoul, Korea. The company currently has more than 60 fully operational systems at customer sites worldwide.

About Synova

Founded in 1997, Synova is the world pioneer and patent holder of Laser MicroJet®, a state-of-the-art water jet-guided laser technology that combines the advantages of a laser beam and water to address the exacting manufacturing specifications and low cost-of-ownership (CoO) requirements associated with volume production of semiconductors, flat-panel displays, solar cells, medical instrumentation and automotive devices. Thanks to this innovative technology, Synova is revolutionizing the engineering playing field and fast emerging as the ideal provider for high-precision laser applications in these core markets. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Synova is a privately held company with subsidiaries located in China, South Korea, Japan and the United States. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.synova.ch

Source: Synova SA

CONTACT:

Arnaud Brule

Synova SA

+41-21-6943500

fax +41-21-6943501

brule@synova.ch

Karen Do

MCA, Inc.

++1-650-968-8900

fax +1-650-968-8990

kdo@mcapr.com

for Synova SA

Web site: www.synova.ch/

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