Inpria, a small Corvallis tech business, was purchased by JSR Corporation, a Japanese semiconductor materials company, for $541 million on Friday, Sept.17.
Inpria originally branched off from Oregon State University’s Department of Chemistry in 2007. OSU has maintained some stake in the business, though a confidentiality agreement prevents them from saying how big of a stake. Of the company’s 50 employees, 45 of them are Oregon residents.
Having specialized in manufacturing advanced computer chips, Inpria works in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), a process that shrinks the size of patterns imprinted on computer chips — a key to the modern-day chips. The smaller patterns allow for faster computing and greater energy efficiency. Perhaps ironically, the machines required for this process are roughly the size of a bus. Inpria uses a light-sensitive material called metal oxide photoresists to reduce defects.
Computer chips make up a significant part of Oregon’s industries, totaling 60% of annual exports. In light of global electronics shortages, Oregon’s chip industries have been growing; Intel is the state’s largest employer, with 21,000 employees at their Washington County campuses.
JSR Corp. established a broader presence in Oregon back in 2019, when construction began on a $100 million factory up in Hillsboro. Still, Inpria has alleged that it will retain its Corvallis operation and function separately from the petrochemical company’s sites in Hillsboro and Beaverton.