Silicon Systems Joins in ‘Smartflex’ Venture


Silicon Systems Inc. in Tustin and Rogers Corp. in Rogers, Conn., have agreed to form a joint venture to assemble, test and sell flexible integrated circuit assemblies for computers that use hard disk drives.

The joint venture, to be called Smartflex Corp. after the product, expects the assemblies--integrated circuits mounted on a flexible conducting material that links a disc drive power source with the disc drive head--to bring $10 million in sales in the first year after the new company is established. Although that won’t happen until the first quarter of 1986, a cooperative marketing and manufacturing effort will begin immediately, the companies said in a statement Wednesday.

Silicon Systems is a manufacturer of integrated circuits--computer chips, the devices that store information--for the Winchester disk drive market. Rogers produces a flexible conducting material--called an interconnector--used to link the disk drive power source to the disk drive heads, which act like a tape recorder’s recording and playback heads to either take information off the disk or transfer it onto the disk for storage.


Installing the integrated circuit directly on the interconnector places it closer to the disk drive head, improving the quality of the information transfer by reducing the distance the electronic signals must travel between the chip and the drive head.

The Smartflex assemblies, which are to be sold initially to computer manufacturers, will be put together in Silicon Systems’ Tustin plant and in Rogers’ Chandler, Ariz., plants.