Wed, Nov 08, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Mosel Vitelic, ITRI set up venture firm to tap into RFID market

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Industrial Technology Research Institute president Johnsee Lee, third left, yesterday shakes hands with Mosel Vitelic chairman Chen Min-liang during a press conference announcing the establishment of a radio-frequency identification venture company.

PHOTO: HUNG YU-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES

Memory chipmaker Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽) yesterday announced the establishment of a radio-frequency identification (RFID) venture company in cooperation with a local technology institution to tap into the burgeoning market for this emerging industry.

"RFID gives us long-term potential. Now is the right time to invest in the technology as it is still taking shape in different areas," Chen Min-liang (陳民良), Mosel's chairman, told a press conference yesterday.

The new company, Amos Technologies Inc (資茂科技), will focus on the development of products based on RFID -- an automatic identification method that stores and retrieves data through chips embedded into everyday objects such as store merchandise, livestock and security documents.

To expand the field, Mosel has teamed up with the quasi-official Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院), as the latter has comprehensive RFID solutions ranging from chips to tags and readers, Chen said.

Under the deal, ITRI will transfer its know-how in ultra high frequency RFID technology and related products such as readers, tag antennas, broadband antennas and chips, as well as a team of engineers, to Amos.

In return, the institution will gain a "minority" share of Amos, said Mosel's president Rebecca Tang (唐亦仙), while declining to disclose the exact stakeholding.

According to Chen, initial investment in the venture reached NT$1 million (US$30,340), and the company expects to invest more as it expands in the future.

He expects Amos to start clinching small orders next year and the order momentum to pick up in 2008.

The company plans to churn out own-brand RFID products in the future. That would represent a milestone for the nation's RFID industry, as most companies are still engaged in contract production, it said.

Mosel is following in footsteps of other Taiwanese high-tech companies in diversifying into new and untapped segments.

It embarked on a five-year transformation blueprint this year in a bid to diversify away from its heavy dependence on memory chips. It has targeted RFID and solar batteries as its two future star products.

Facilities for solar batteries will be ready in the first quarter of next year, with production beginning in the following quarter, it said.

Boosted by the news, shares of Mosel surged to their daily limit yesterday to close at NT$23.9 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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