NVE Corporation was founded in 1989 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Originally called Nonvolatile Electronics, the company changed its name to NVE Corporation after going public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2000; their ticker symbol is NVEC. The word “nonvolatile” refers to memory that retains information after a power source has been removed. Since their founding, NVEC has been granted over $50 million in government research contracts, especially for their research in the nonvolatile memory called MRAM or magnetoresistive random access memory. These contracts helped NVEC develop an intellectual property portfolio and accumulate over 50 patents regarding spintronic and MRAM technology. Recently the company has reduced their dependence on research contracts and has grown tremendously through product sales, averaging an increase of 25% top-line growth the past three years.
The company develops and sells products that utilize “spintronics”, a nanotechnology which relies on electron spin rather than electron charge to gather, store and send information. NVE Corp. manufactures high performance sensors and couplers that are used to acquire and transmit data. Additionally, they license their MRAM technology to various companies including Avago Technologies, Honeywell, Cypress Semiconductor Company, and until 2006, Motorola. As of fiscal year 2008, product sales accounted for 85% of revenue and research and development contracts accounted for 15%. They currently have 50 employees and generate sales in over 75 countries.
The electronics industry relies heavily on devices that acquire, store and transmit data. NVE Corp’s spintronics technology focuses on magnetic sensors, couplers, and memory which perform these activities with greater speed, accuracy and reliability than currently used in the industry. Their core products operate by: sensors acquiring information, couplers transmitting the information, and memory to store the information.
Magnetic sensors can be used for a variety of purposes including detecting the speed and position of robotics and other mechanisms within manufacturing plants, or for communicating precisely with medical devices. NVE Corp. offers two types of sensors, standard and custom. Their standard sensors are primarily used for factory automation. Custom sensors are designed primarily for medical devices which are based on customer specification and manufactured under stringent quality standards. Most of the custom sensors ordered are used to replace the industry standard electromechanical switches. Comparatively, NVE Corp’s custom sensors have no moving parts, are smaller, more precise, and accurate. Future sensor markets that NVE Corp. is pursuing include consumer electronics and automotive electronics.
Magnetic couplers can be used effectively within factory automation by providing high speed digital data transmission to various factory subsystems, such as robots communicating...