UL strikes major US$1-million licensing deal with chip giant AMD


13 Nov 2009

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The University of Limerick has struck a licence agreement worth US$1 million with computer-chip giant AMD that will see an Irish-developed technology marketed worldwide.

The university’s Stokes Institute has created a new micro-cooler technology, which is used for cooling purposes in computer devices across the computer and electronics industry worldwide.

In what is being seen as a major endorsement of research in Ireland, AMD has been granted a development licence by the University of Limerick to customise the micro-cooler technology for its next-generation products, while Asia Vital Components (AVC), the world’s largest supplier of coolers for central processing units (CPUs) and micro-chip modules (MCMs), has signed a worldwide, non-exclusive licence to make and sell the university’s micro cooler.

Up to 50 million micro coolers will initially be required, and the University of Limerick will benefit from potential licence revenues in excess of US$1 million. Future micro-cooler volumes could eventually exceed hundreds of millions, the university said.

An exciting new technology

Unique benefits of the Stokes Institute micro cooler include improved performance, reduced energy consumption, lower noise and reduced manufacturing costs.

The micro-cooler technology, which was funded by Enterprise Ireland, evolved after more than five years of extensive research.

“We’re very excited about this new technology. In terms of personal electronic devices of all kinds, the world is moving towards smaller sizes and greater power efficiency. The team at Stokes Institute have designed a cooling technology that can make a huge impact on the ability of manufacturers to deliver these attributes at reduced cost,” said Steve Huang, director of sales at AVC.

Stokes Institute’s research impressive

"Harnessing valuable expertise from the academic community is a key element of AMD’s strategy to provide best-in-class technologies to our ecosystem partners and end users,” said Dr Gamal Refai-Ahmed, AMD fellow.

“We work with a broad range of Ivy League institutions, and were particularly impressed with the quality of research and the market awareness that the researchers in the Stokes Institute in the University of Limerick have delivered, and also with the university’s professional approach to licensing its intellectual property,” he added.

Future innovations

“The licensing of the new technology will result in revenues back to Ireland that could top US$1 million if the initial cost estimates are maintained in volume production,” said Paul Dillon, director of the Technology Transfer Office at the University of Limerick.

“We see further pioneering innovations coming out of the Stokes Institute and would ideally like to leverage the significant international endorsement of research expertise and market awareness these licence agreements represent to establish a new high-potential start-up company in Ireland to bring some of these future innovations to the market.

“It’s essential that this backing is maintained over the coming years and beyond. Research carried out in the universities has the potential to help promote Ireland internationally as a genuine Smart Economy but, without Enterprise Ireland’s support, it would be difficult to keep many of these projects going,” Dillon added.

Photo: Pictured with the Stokes Institute’s micro-cooler technology are (from left): Dr Edmond Walsh, senior research fellow, and Dr Jeff Punch, technical director, micromechanical engineering.

Photo by Eoin Stephenson

Article courtesy of businessandleadership.com

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