San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

STAFF REPORT

Texas State University and MicroPower Global have announced an granting the company exclusive use of a Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) system.

The MBE, a V100 system with two operating chambers, will continue to be owned by Texas State. MicroPower will pay a monthly fee once the MBE is operating. Total production capacity using both chambers would be approximately 1.3 million cm² worth of MicroPower chips annually, double the initial capacity that the company had projected.

Use of the MBE will enable the company to produce advanced semiconductor chips, which convert heat directly to electricity three times more efficiently than ever before.

MicroPower and the university also have agreed to terms for the operation of a new research chamber, due to be installed this month on the development MBE system in the Roy F. Mitte science building on campus. Currently used for the growth of “barriers” on MicroPower chips, this will significantly accelerate development capabilities.

“We are pleased to continue our relationship with MicroPower as the company enters an exciting new phase,” said Bill Covington, chief research officer for Texas State. “The level of commercial experience on offer to students is important to us, and several of our graduates have already become full-time MicroPower employees–as the company grows we very much hope this trend continues.”

The MBE will be moved by the end of the summer from its present location on campus to the company’s facility at Texas State’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park. Texas State professors Tom Myers and Ravi Droopad will oversee the relocation.

“These agreements provide us with a great opportunity to accelerate our development, and in the near future to move seamlessly into production with much less capital expenditure than is typically associated with the transition to manufacturing,” said Max Lewinsohn, MicroPower’s chairman. “There is significant demand for our energy conversion technology. Our key challenge at this stage is to secure the necessary funding to enable us to ramp up our operations and be able to cater for the high level of interest we are experiencing.”

Along with traditional forms of financing, MicroPower planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign (www.kickstarter.com) on July 15.

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