Ziptronix has closed a deal to sell its development lab in Morrisville to a pair of firms that it has licensed semiconductor technology to in the past, paving the way for the privately held firm to focus on further development of its proprietary 3D chip technology.

Eleven people work at the lab, and its new owners are looking to expand, a Ziptronix executive told WRALTechWire.

No layoffs are planned, he added.

The new owners are Tezzaron Semiconductor Corporation and Novati Technologies, which is a subsidiary of Tezzaron. Ziptronix, which is based in Raleigh, licensed technology to each of the firms over the past year.

Financial terms of the latest agreement were not disclosed.

Ziptronix is a spinoff from RTI International, having launched in 2000. It holds some three dozen U.S. patents and more than 20 international patents for low-temperature direct bonding technology that enables 3D stacking of semiconductors for use in a variety of devices and applications.

Novati will operate the lab.  

“Due to widespread adoption of direct bonding in volume manufacturing, Ziptronix no longer has to dedicate its resources to supporting a lab for commercialization of its patented ZiBond and DBI technologies,” the company said in announcing the deal. “Tezzaron will use the facility to support development and manufacturing of its rapidly growing advanced memory products.”

As part of the agreement, Ziptronix and its customer will retain access to the lab for testing of potential products.

Ziptronix also did not sell any of its core technology, said Chris Sanders, one of the firm’s business development executives. 

Dan Donabedian, chief executive officer of Ziptronix, said the deal reflected a change in the “needs” of the company.

“ZiBond has been in high-volume manufacturing for several years now and DBI is well on its way into production,” Donabedian said. “Quite simply, as the market is now convinced of the value of our technology, our needs have shifted. As we look to accelerate 3D integration, our focus is increasingly on addressing the needs of the maturing and emerging markets that are adopting our technology via licensing.”

Tom Ayers, CEO of Tezzaron, said the deal provides his firm with a facility and a “seasoned staff.”

“This is truly a ‘win-win’ for all parties involved,” he said in a statement. “We get the facility we need for our technology development, fully equipped and staffed with seasoned personnel. At the same time, Ziptronix retains its ability to support its customers by ensuring they are able to continue their advanced development work in the lab.”