Sarnoff Spinoffs: The List

Biotech & Healthcare


Overseas Expansion

Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the January 24,

2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Spinning from Sarnoff’s Web — Part II

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Sarnoff Spinoffs: The List

Here is the impressive list of spinoffs and ancillary endeavors. Some

have addresses as far flung as Vancouver and Tennessee, but if no

address is given, the company is collecting its mail on Fisher Place.

The companies fall into three general categories: Information


biomedical, and semiconductors or microelectronics. Many have


impressive venture capital funding, not only in good amounts but also

from prestigious names.

Information Tech

AgileVision LLC. Anthony Gargano, president and

CEO. 609-514-4032; fax, 609-514-4029. Home page:

Digital TV studio equipment. AgileVision’s software-based

products that integrate and deliver compressed stream content will

provide cost-effective, flexible ways to deliver digital content.

This technology is expected to encourage TV broadcaster, cable


and Internet firms to move more aggressively into digital technology.

The firm’s partner is Mercury Computer Systems (U.S. 1, November 22,


AgileVision’s software will enable broadcasters to get on air fast

with sophistication without spending a lot of money on single function

boxes. It let’s them do things in the digital domain that they didn’t

think could be done.

DIVA. 301B College Road East, Princeton 08540.

Erick J. Frim, general manager. 609-987-9199; fax, 609-987-0545. Home


Internet imaging. Interactive Video On Demand (VOD)


include hardware, software, back office and integration so that cable

companies can seamlessly offer hundreds of simultaneous choices. One

stand-alone product is an interactive program guide (IPG) that lets

viewers search and find viewing choices in real time. It allows


to profit indirectly from the DTV revolution.

Founded as Sarnoff Real Time Corporation it was bought by DWA System

Corp. This firm has had strategic investments from Charter


ntl, General Instrument (now Motorola), Open TVe, Liberate, and Starz


e-vue, 33 Wood Avenue South, Eighth Floor, Iselin

08830. Kenneth Sun, president. 732-590-0102; fax, 732-452-9726. Home


Internet video. The company develops, markets, and


MPEG-4 compliant interactive multimedia technologies that can bring

"lightening fast loading of still images and high quality


streaming video" with only low bandwidth. Aiming to be the leading

branded technology leader in stream rich media for the mass market,

e-Vue started shipping products — including plug-ins for Adobe

Photoshop — in September, 2000.

The "preview feature," which lets viewers see a small version

of the image before choosing to download the complete version, makes

these products especially popular. MPEG-4 files reduce costs because

they are two to five times as small as JPEG compressed images of equal


"MPEG 4 is the hottest multimedia standard in the world,"

says Ed Hansch, director of marketing. "It is the only video


that will scale, and its image and video products are at the forefront

of the revolution in interactive computing — PCs, cable, and the

wireless industry. It is more powerful than any of the proprietary

solutions. Choose one standard format, and any player adhering to

the standard can play the content," says Hansch.

Charles Xue, the co-founder and chairman of the 30-person firm, is

also the co-founder of UT Starcom (Nasdaq: UTSI) and is the current

chairman of the largest E-commerce portal in China, Kenneth

Sun, co-founder and president, is an alumnus of Johnston Associates.

He was vice president at the Cherry Valley Road-based venture capital

firm, and he was deputy general manager for a Hong Kong-Canadian joint

investment fund. He has a doctor’s degree from the State University

of New York.

John Lynch, COO and CTO, was most recently vice president of systems

products at Ariel Corporation, the digital signal processors firm

on Route 130. For 16 years he worked at Bell Labs, where he directed

modem and multimedia development. Bill Ponton, vice president of sales

and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) business development, had

been a systems engineer on the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor. He has

also consulted to a video-on-demand server provider, Vivid Technology,

and done strategic planning for Kinetic Systems.

Other officers are Jeff Aber, vice president of business development

with wide experience in the entertainment business, and Tony Kim,

CFO, formerly with Neuberger Berman and Merrill Lynch’s San


TEchnology M&A Group. Sarnoff’s vice president of ventures, Anne Van

Lent, is on the board.

IriScan (Sensar), 121 Whittendale Drive, Moorestown

08057. Tom Drury, president. 609-222-9090; fax, 609-222-9020.

Biometric security technology. Sensar was Sarnoff’s first

commercial spinout. Offering biometric solutions — an


computer vision system, it merged last August with IriScan in Marlton,

Pennsylvania, to form Iridian. IriScan has technology for the physical

access and security industries, and Sensar has experience in the


and finance industries.

LifeClips, 30 Nagog Park, Acton, MA 01729. Michael

Goldstein, executive vice president, founder. 978-263-6525;


Home page:

DVD conversions. So you just bought a new DVD player.

What happens to all those home videos? LifeClips is working on a


to convert them to DVD and to also improve the image quality. Michael

Goldstein, the CEO, is a familiar name in Princeton. The son of a

systems engineers at Bell Labs, Goldstein is a Brown alumnus (Class

of 1975) and a Harvard MBA. He helped pioneer some of the earliest

multimedia technologies of telecommunications technologies, was vice

president of Macmillan Software, a consultant at McKinsey, and then

president and CEO of Voxware, the College Road-based


firm that had phenomenal growth when it switched from transforming

voices for video games to enabling Internet phone calls. But after

Goldstein took Voxware public in 1996, Wall Street was disappointed

in its results, and he left the company in 1997.

Semandex. Max Ott, chief technical officer.

Peer-to-peer content network. Semandex resides in the

new nVention incubator and was established last March to develop Tuku,

an Internet-based peer-to-peer content network that could change the

way users connect with content providers. This totally distributed

system automatically matches up Internet users who want certain


with the providers who can supply it. Tuku also offers a way for the

content to get endorsements from other users — by creating on-line

communities of shared interests.

"Portals that participate in the pilot launch of Tuku will make

their websites `sticker’ because they’ll be accessed by a larger


of customers who are truly interested in their offerings," says

Max Ott, CTO.

Tuku also offers a way for the content to get endorsements from other

users — by creating on-line communities of shared interests. To

participate, a user loads free Tuku software and sets up a profile

of interests. This profile goes into the Tukunet network, and these

profiles are merged to create an overall profile of the user


Messages received from the network appear in a user’s mailbox, sorted

and ranked by degree of importance to the user’s interest.

"This ranking system helps users tell what they should read


says Ott. "That gives relevant content a larger share of the



VideoBrush Corporation/Internet Pictures


(iPIX), Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Home page:

Video-on-demand. Video mosaicing technology, developed

at Sarnoff, enables VideoBrush products. Its owner, iPIX, provides

360 degree Internet imaging for real estate, E-retail, travel,


entertainment, consumer online auction, architecture, engineering,

construction, and insurance markets.

WaveXpress, 1 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 2434, New

York 10119. Cliff Jenks, president and CEO. 212-244-8438. Home


Web information delivery. This company will allow Sarnoff

Corporation to profit directly from the DTV revolution. It offers

secure data broadcast architecture, infrastructure, and content


for broadcasters, content providers, and consumers. These broadcast

E-commerce systems are supported by various business models, including

ad supported content distribution.

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Biotech & Healthcare

Delsys Pharmaceutical Corporation, 11 Deer Park

Drive, Suite 202, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Monmouth Junction 08852.

Martyn Greenacre, CEO. David King, president. 732-329-3407; fax,


Home page:

Drug delivery. By accurately depositing only the drug

substance onto a film, Delsys’ Accudep — dry powder electrostatic

deposition — technology enables unique products, simplifies


and allows the drug content of each individual dosage unit to be


in minute quantities. The company uses Accudep to formulate and


proprietary pharmaceutical dosage forms, which can expand the market

opportunities for many marketed drugs as well as streamline the


process for compounds in development. It has just over 50 employees.

HealthCare Ventures on Nassau Street provided early venture funding,

and other investors include Rho Management, CenterPoint Ventures,

and Prism Venture Partners. It has partnerships with such big pharmas

as Glaxo Smith-Kline, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Elan., Rajan Kumar MD PhD, project


Home page:

Genomics databases. Through, biomedical

researchers can purchase convenient-to-use CDs with genomics


from public databases.

Locus Discovery, Nicholas Landekiz, president and

CEO. 609-720-4870.

Drug discovery. This proprietary technology —


and algorithms — can speed up drug discovery and make it more

efficient. The algorithms use the 3-D structure of a protein to


the biologically relevant binding site; then they design a list of

drug compounds that will bind well to that site.

Orchid BioSciences Inc. (ORCH), 303A College Road

East, Box 2197, Princeton 08543-2197. Dale R. Pfost Ph.D, chairman,

president and CEO. 609-750-2200; fax, 609-750-2250. Home page:

Pharmaco-genomics. Founded as Orchid Biocomputer, it


products, services, and technologies for single nucleotide


(SNP) scoring and genetic diversity analyses. It develops proprietary

SNP analysis technologies (SNP-IT), it markets SNPstream instruments

and SNPware consumables that rapidly generate highly accurate SNP

information at a significantly lower cost than conventional systems.

The SNP-IT can be used by both small-scale laboratories and large

commercial facilities. This adaptability also enables Orchid to


with industry leaders to make SNP-IT products available on a wide

variety of instrument platforms. Also, through its Clinical Genetics

Network (CGN), Orchid seeks to identify proprietary medical


of SNPs (U.S. 1, August 23, 2000).

The company’s GeneScreen subsidiary launched a website for patients

needing bone marrow transplants ( It will

help the patients access private donor testing and is part of a


initiative. It will provide a national listing of donor drives, will

offer a "send a friend" E-mail feature to refer people to

these drives, online ordering of testing kits, and help with finding

funding sources.

Songbird Hearing Corporation, 5 Cedar Brook Drive,

Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. Fred Fritz, president

and CEO. 609-409-4500; fax, 609-409-4510. Home page:

Hearing aids. The world’s first disposable hearing aid

is now on sale. After 40 days, this product can be replaced with a

new prescription, just like it. Venture funders include Bank America

Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Prism Ventures, Tredagar, J&J


Corporation, and UTIMCO (U.S. 1, May 17, 2000). It recently acquired

$45 million in private capital to advertise its signature product

aid and to distribute it to Canada, Europe, and Japan.

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NxtWave Communications Inc., 1 Summit Square Office

Building, Route 413 & Doublewoods Road, Suite 105, Langhorne 19047.

Matt Miller, president and CEO. 267-757-1100; fax, 267-757-1120. Home


Digital TV chips. Founded as Sarnoff Digital


in 1996, NxtWave has its headquarters in Langhorne, Pennsylvania,

but its manufacturers’ representatives are supervised from offices

in Irvine, California. It has high-performance, low-cost


for makers of consumer products such as cable modems, interactive

set-top boxes, digital televisions, and PC video products. With


algorithms it has rapid demodulation and adaptive equalization


Chris Strolle, the company’s vice president of R&D and lead architect,

had been head of the video communications group of the high definition

imaging and computing lab at Sarnoff. He has bachelor’s and master’s

degrees from Penn and owns more than 30 U.S. patents. The president

and CEO, Matt Miller, has degrees from Harvard and Princeton and had

been vice president of technology at General Instrument Corp.

Pipal Electronics. Pipal is a very young company,

and its funding is being negotiated.

Optolectronics. Pipal’s products are low temperature


ceramic on metal packages for telecommunications modules and boards.

The firm will initially focus on integrated packages and substrates

for electronics and optoelectronics applications in wired and wireless


PowerZyme, 436 Springfield Avenue, Summit 07901.

Don Scuilli, president. 908-277-4434; fax, 908-277-0169.

Improved fuel cells. New proprietary battery technology

has enabled the development of a new mini-fuel cell that can be used

in portable devices. This powerful energy source is environmentally

friendly and cost efficient, and it supplies an unusually high level

of energy density for such products as laptops, cell phones, personal

digital assistants, portable tools, and other consumer devices.

Earlier this month the company announced that it successfully tested

its program. "We provide run times before re-charging at least

10 times longer than current battery technologies," says Donald

Scuilli, CEO. "Imagine being able to use your laptop for a week

before you have to charge it."

This battery can be instantly charged in seconds, not hours, by


the self-contained packet. It is lighter weight than currently


batteries and, because it does not contain heavy metals to store the

electricity, is more friendly to the environment. When recycled, it

will break down to recyclable plastics, water, and sequestered carbon


Princeton Lightwave Inc., 2601 Route 130 South,

Cranbury 08512. 609-925-8100. Home page:

Telecom lasers. This spin-off has just moved out of


Its next generation technology for integrated component solutions

includes high performance optical components such as high-power pump

lasers and modules for advanced network applications. It has venture

funding from Morgenthaler Investors, U.S. Venture Partners, and



"We clearly believe that one of the strategic marketplaces is

telecommunications and the main driver is optical communications,"

says CEO Carnes, who cites Princeton Lightwave as having "unique

electronic packaging technology" to make optical components for

that marketplace.

Pyramid Vision Technologies, Deepam Mishra,


609-419-0418; fax, 609-514-4041. Home page:

Video processing. This company operates within Sarnoff

and offers high-end real-time video processing for the broadcast


and the consumer market. Its service costs range from a few hundred

dollars to five figures. In addition to selling its services, it also

designs and manufactures real-time computer vision systems. Use of

these extra fast "pyramid processing" techniques can stabilize

video images, detect and track intruders, and generate large mosaic

images from video in real time. Possible products are vehicle-based

vision systems, security and surveillance products, and aerial


Sarcon, 9737 Cogdill Road, Pellissippi Center,

Suite 110, Knoxville 37932. Donald Perrine. 609-734-2000; fax,


Home page:

Infrared imagers. Infrared (IR) detector products with

this micro-cantilever technology can lower the cost of IR detectors

and expand the market for them. The technology is based on


metal oxide semiconductor technology (CMOS). Current applications

are for fire fighting, automatic driver vision enhancement, home


and surveillance, marine, aviation, industrial, and military systems.

Sarif, Vancouver, British Columbia. 360-750-0242.

Home page:

LCD displays. These advanced liquid crystal light valves

can do high resolution displays but are relatively easy to make. They

are used for projection displays, HDTV, computer monitors, and



Secure Products, 436 Springfield Avenue, Summit

07901. Vernon Bremberg, president. 908-277-4434; fax, 908-277-0169.

Phosphors. This four-person firm has anti-counterfeiting

and anti-diversion systems based on unique material marking and


technology. Electronic detectors reveal otherwise invisible marks

for authentication of currency, bank checks, and other products. Its

materials, which are a trade secret, can be used by all printing


This technology is also available by ink-jet for authentication or

as invisible bar codes carrying variable data.

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Overseas Expansion

Sarnoff Europe BVBA, c/o Sarnoff Corporation, CN

5300, Gistel, Flanders. Koen Verhaege, executive director.

Branch office. This wholly-owned subsidiary is a


technical liaison and marketing office located in Flanders in northern

Belgium. Among the products that the branch will offer is TakeCharge,

a technology for integrated device manufacturers and silicon


This technique in integrated circuit design eliminates a process step

— silicide blocking — in making IC wafers and reduces costs

by as much as $50 per wafer. For now, this office will market


to Europe, but plans call for expansion of the office over the next

five to ten years.

"We believe that New Jersey has not been given its due as

a center of high technology," says Sarnoff’s CEO Jim Carnes. New

Jersey doesn’t don’t show up on most surveys for various reasons,

usually because it is carved up into sections and assigned to


and New York metro areas. "Yet the state historically has ranked

at the top of many technologies — including solid state —

and needs more recognition of the vitality and dynamism of its current

businesses. That will help us attract new employees and new


Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road, CN 5300,

Princeton 08543-5300. James E. Carnes, president & CEO. 609-734-2000;

fax, 609-734-2040. Home page:

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