ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996 - INESC

INESC transfers Production Technology to European Manufacturer

by Paulo Freitas

INESC recently entered into a technology transfer agreement with Silmag (a European manufacturer of disk drive recording heads, based in Grenoble), for an innovative manufacturing process for the production of spin valve sensors developed by INESC's Magneto-Optics Group and ASIC Prototyping Centre.

This type of agreement is original within this field in Portugal and was only made possible owing to the consistency of the state-of-the-art technological develop-ment efforts being made by the Centre and the Magneto-Optics Group.
The presentation of currently on-going activities at international conferences has gained the interest of several multinational electronics companies and the Centre has already established non-disclosure agreements, permitting advanced technologies to be shared with companies such as 3M, Thomson, Philips and Silmag.

The agreement which has just been reached and which is to be followed by a technical assistance contract during the production stage, will last for one and a half years and will cater to the transfer of a full spin valve magneto-resistive manufacturing process based on an architecture developed by IBM. The sensors will be combined with induction writing heads manufactured by Silmag using a new totally microelectronics compatible technology (planar heads manufactured from silicon wafers). This both speeds up the manufacturing process while making it cheaper than the process employing ceramic substrates and vertical heads used by other major manufacturers.

SILMAG, which was founded at the end of the eighties and has manufacturing plants in France and agreements with South Korean companies, has achieved 50% rates of growth in its turnover over the last two years. It is investing heavily in this innovation for increasing its share of this highly competitive market.

Please contact:
Paulo Freitas - INESC
Tel: +351 1 3100348

return to the contents page