Pragmatic Park presents a new future for UK semiconductor manufacturing
Pragmatic Park represents a huge acceleration of the company’s mission to inspire innovators to build extraordinary solutions that improve everyday life. We hear from CEO Scott White about the importance of this phase of Pragmatic’s growth and his vision for the future.
Supported by $90 million of investment in Pragmatic’s recent Series C funding round, our new manufacturing site will enable the company to expand our semiconductor fabrication capabilities and enable us to produce billions of ultra-low-cost flexible integrated circuits per year. Pragmatic Park is the first large-scale semiconductor manufacturing facility to be announced in the UK for several decades and will house the very first state-of-the-art 300mm fab in the country. It solidifies the UK’s position as an up-and-coming leader in novel semiconductor production and creates high-value manufacturing jobs in the UK.
Pragmatic Park is situated on a 59,000-square-metre (635,000-square-foot) brownfield site in Durham. The building currently being refurbished covers 16,300 square metres (175,000 square feet), approximately the size of three football pitches laid side by side. The building will be able to accommodate at least four FlexLogic® fabs which will eventually ramp up production to tens of billions of chips per year. It will also act as the support hub for Pragmatic’s global fab rollout, including FlexLogic lines deployed for secure, local, just-in-time production on key customer sites under a “Fab-as-a-Service” model.
Pragmatic Park will also become the focus of a growing electronics ecosystem in the region. We look forward to expanding our collaborations, both academic and industrial, including: New College Durham, developing the next generation of British semiconductor technicians and engineers; the University of Durham, developing further advances in flexible electronics design and manufacture; and a range of customers and commercial partners, developing application use cases and complementary or related technologies to help accelerate time to market for electronics in everyday objects.
One of the most exciting aspects of Pragmatic’s unique manufacturing approach is its vastly more efficient use of resources when compared to silicon processing. Pragmatic’s technology uses 100 times less water than a silicon fab, with a comparable reduction in energy consumption and even greater reduction in carbon footprint. This presents a significant opportunity to reduce scope III emissions for consumer electronics manufacturers and other sectors, and of course is critical for making the Internet of Everything environmentally sustainable.
The development of a high-volume semiconductor manufacturing site is a turning point for the UK, pushing beyond the Government’s Innovation Strategy that primarily positions the UK as a leader in chip design, with a nod to its strong capabilities in compound semiconductors and flexible chip design. Rebuilding the UK’s once-significant homegrown semiconductor industry will need a more structured investment approach from the Government to support high-value manufacturing in addition to fabless design. Pragmatic Park will be a beacon of what can be achieved with the right focus.