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News - March 28, 2024

HRH The Princess Royal officially opens Pragmatic Park

Yesterday, Pragmatic was honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal as she officially opened Pragmatic Park – home of the UK’s first 300mm semiconductor fabrication line (fab) – located near Durham, UK.

HRH The Princess Royal opens Pragmatic Park in Durham

The princess took a tour of the fab with CEO David Moore, donning protective clothing to visit the clean room facilities to learn more about how FlexICs – flexible integrated circuits – are manufactured. She then visited the laboratory, where she witnessed the process for converting the chips into RFID inlays, and heard more about applications for the technology.

HRH The Princess Royal opens Pragmatic Park in Durham

Low-cost, more sustainable alternatives to silicon, FlexICs are ultra-thin, with a flexible form factor.  They enable connect, sense and compute capabilities to power the Internet of Things (IoT), address AI applications and drive digital transformation.

The princess was given a step-by-step guide to FlexICs’ pioneering fabrication method, which uses fewer process steps than standard silicon manufacture, consumes less energy and less water, and uses fewer harmful gases. This results in a faster production cycle of just 48 hours, low-cost fabrication in a significantly smaller footprint, with a vastly reduced carbon impact.

The 60,000m2 former brownfield site has capacity to host up to nine fabrication lines, each capable of producing billions of chips per year.

Pragmatic Park

After completing the tour of the fab, the princess was introduced to key global customers, partners, investors, government officials and ecosystem partners, as well as the next generation of Pragmatic problem solvers – apprentice and graduate engineers – who discussed their experiences of the semiconductor industry so far.

An exhibition gave an overview of Pragmatic’s history, starting with its inception in 2010 when serial entrepreneur Scott White met now-CTO Richard Price. It showcased demos of groundbreaking projects – including the first flexible Arm microprocessor and the world’s first e-nose sensor system on flexible substrate – as well as showing the transformation of Pragmatic Park from brownfield site to advanced fabrication facility.

The royal visit follows a highly successful year for Pragmatic, after its recent Series D round attracted Europe’s largest ever semiconductor venture funding. Significantly, over 70% of the funding was from British investors, supporting the company’s aspiration to grow a world-leading semiconductor business serving global customers, from a strong UK base.

“We’re honoured and grateful to Her Royal Highness for inaugurating Pragmatic Park,” said Pragmatic CEO, Dave Moore.

HRH The Princess Royal opens Pragmatic Park in Durham

“As the UK’s fastest growing semiconductor manufacturer, this is a significant milestone for Pragmatic. I’m incredibly proud of what the team has achieved. Their efforts have galvanised our ambition to accelerate sustainable digital transformation across industries, enabling item-level intelligence in a trillion sustainable, smart items over the next decade.”

Check out our short video roundup of the day below!

HRH The Princess Royal and Pragmatic CEO David Moore

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