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Virtus Advanced Sensors and USC Sign Collaboration Agreement

March 19, 2007

USC to provide direct investment; companies to engage in joint product development, sales and distribution activities in Japan and Asia.


PITTSBURGH & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virtus Advanced Sensors has signed a collaboration agreement with USC Corporation of Japan. USC (TYO; 9844) is the largest trading company of Sony Corporation, a major shareholder of the general trading company, which specializes in the manufacture, distribution and sales of electronic devices, semiconductors, and electronic components.

USC will work with Virtus on design-in projects for USC customers based in Japan and the Asian region. The company will also make an undisclosed direct investment into Virtus and support Virtus Japan K.K., Virtus` recently established wholly owned subsidiary based in Tokyo.

According to Louis Ross, President & CEO of Virtus, `USC will provide the type of sales, marketing and distribution support we will be needing in the near future in Japan and the Asia Pacific region. For a US-based MEMS venture company, it's certainly a first in terms of the scope of the partnership which goes well beyond the typical hands off distribution agreement and includes co-development activities and a significant investment commitment by USC. Such partnerships in Japan are critical in order to engage in direct design-in activities with customers. This relationship will put us in a very competitive position in relation to our planned 3-axis accelerometer and 2-axis gyro products. Potential Japanese customers are well aware of our superior patent portfolio regarding these technologies. We look forward to becoming an important supplier to consumer electronics firms in Japan and growing our office there.`

Haruo Kadosaka, CEO & COO of USC, believes that `Virtus has cutting-edge technology for the development of MEMS sensors, an area of deep interest to our customer base. We believe that Virtus will be a leading company in the development of MEMS multi-axis motion sensors for consumer electronics applications from now on. The collaboration between USC and Virtus in regard to MEMS sensors will be related to developing new business opportunities in Japan and Asia where we see a strong demand for Virtus technology, which includes 3-axis accelerometers and multi-axis gyro technology.`

USC corporation is a general trading company with nearly $2b in revenue and is a publicly listed, 1st Section Tokyo Stock Exchange listed company. USC`s major customers include Sony, NEC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Pioneer, Casio, Sega, Nikon, Kodak, Pentax, Ricoh, Omron and Mitsumi.

Virtus Advanced Sensors is a US-based next-generation sensor company commercializing multi-axis inertial sensors including accelerometers, gyros and integrated motion sensors developed based on MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology.


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