The Westaim Corporation today announced that its
iFire Technology Corp. subsidiary’s pilot production facility is operational.
The pilot facility is intended to produce engineering samples of
high-definition 34-inch flat panel display modules based on its proprietary
thick dielectric electroluminescent technology and to simulate
manufacturing in a commercial environment.

“We have had excellent early output of TDEL panels from the initial runs
through the pilot plant,” said Barry M. Heck, President & CEO of Westaim. “As
we continue to ramp up pilot production we will be sharing TDEL displays
produced in the pilot with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and
potential partners for their evaluation. iFire intends to begin demonstrating
displays early this year.”

The US$35-million pilot facility was completed on time and on budget.
Through pilot production, iFire intends to complete the baseline processes for
the manufacture of its displays and focus on continual improvements to both
performance and manufacturing efficiency.

“As an emissive display technology, TDEL will offer a viewing experience
that is much closer to the CRT and superior to other flat panel TV
technologies,” said Nick Khoury, President of iFire. “In addition to better
picture quality and a thinner, lighter form factor, TDEL offers lower capital
investment and has a potential 30 to 40 percent manufacturing cost advantage
compared to other technologies, which will translate into more affordable
consumer products.”

iFire expects to commercialize its technology in partnership with
industry leaders and plans to initially target the 30- to 45-inch screen size
television segment. The pilot plant will provide information and experience to
allow iFire to work with partners to construct and operate the first volume
production facility. Initial planning work for this facility is under way.

iFire Technology Corp. has developed a flat panel display with low cost
and high performance potential called thick dielectric electroluminescent
technology. With superior video performance characteristics and a
substantial manufacturing cost advantage over other flat panel display
technologies, iFire’s proprietary TDEL technology has the potential to become
an affordable, high performance alternative for the mass consumer flat panel
television market. iFire plans to initially target the 30- to 45-inch screen
size segment of the flat panel television market in partnership with major
consumer electronics companies.