Ziptronix, a semiconductor firm and a pioneer in development of 3-D chip technology that was spun off from RTI International. has been sold to a Silicon Valley firm for $39 million.

Over the years, Ziptronix raised more than $30 million in venture capital. It was spun off from RTI in 2000.

Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) announced the deal Thursday, saying Ziptronix technology will boost its own semiconductor portfolio.

“With this acquisition we’re gaining best-in-class technology, along with exceptional people, know-how in the 3D-IC market and a significant patent portfolio,” stated Tom Lacey, CEO of Tessera.

“With the escalating cost for each node of semiconductor lithography, it remains very clear to us that our R&D spend on semiconductor packaging will only become more important and valuable to our customers. Ziptronix has commercially licensed the ZiBond and DBI technologies and they stack up very well alongside our extensive portfolio of 2.5D and 3D intellectual property. I’m confident that aligning our respective capabilities with our development expertise will help create a multi-hundred million dollar revenue opportunity for Tessera over the next decade as the industry continues to shift toward 3D-IC architectures.”

Ziptronix, which sold off its lab operations to clients in 2013, has signed a number of licensing agreements with high-profile customers such as Sony for its patented technology. The company has six employees in Raleigh.

“We’ve taken our technology from concept to commercialization in the backside illuminated image sensor and RF markets,” said Dan Donabedian, CEO of Ziptronix, who told The Triangle Business Journal that he plans to remain with the company. “Joining the Tessera family of companies combines our efforts with a proven leader in technology development and licensing in the semiconductor industry. This is a great alignment of companies that can address rapidly expanding 2.5D and 3D-IC markets.”

In 2013, Ziptronix sold its development lab in Morrisville to a pair of firms that it has licensed semiconductor technology to in the past.

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 that agreement were not disclosed.