FlexIC Foundry enables custom flexible integrated circuit design
Pragmatic is inspiring innovators to create extraordinary solutions
PragmatIC has developed a unique, patented semiconductor device platform that provides the opportunity to invent entirely new applications for electronics: as well as being ultra-low cost, it is also ultra-thin and flexible, and can be easily combined with other thin film electronic components to create novel solutions. Our FlexIC Foundry® now allows third parties to access this technology to design and manufacture their own custom flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs).
PragmatIC created the FlexIC Foundry initially to accelerate the development and launch of its ConnectIC® family of RFID FlexICs earlier this year. ConnectICs are application-specific standard products that offer the ideal solution to be able to add connectivity and interactivity into trillions of everyday objects, with the potential to increase the addressable RFID market by an order of magnitude or more.
The FlexICs are produced in our FlexLogIC® manufacturing system, a highly scalable “fab-in-a-box” capable of delivering billions of FlexICs per annum. FlexLogIC is self-contained and highly automated, providing a disruptive production approach aligned to just-in-time delivery of mass market volumes.
The FlexIC Foundry offering combines the FlexLogIC Process Design Kit (PDK) with a rapid tapeout cycle for production wafers, allowing product iteration and refinement without the cost and timescale constraints of a silicon fab. The PDK is based on an industry-standard Electronic Design Automation (EDA) toolflow; it includes a core device library, simulation models, design rules, and a growing library of standard cells to facilitate design and footprint optimisation.
The FlexIC Foundry is currently in beta release, and PragmatIC has been working with select partners who are using it to create custom circuits, including:
- Arm’s research team have been working with partners to design a cost-effective, custom machine learning (ML) chip on a flexible substrate for recognising odour;
- Cambridge Consultants is offering custom FlexIC design services to its global client base, leveraging its deep expertise across ASICs, IP and end-product development;
- imec have designed RFID FlexICs as part of the PING consortium, winner of the Innovation Product Award at the European Forum for Electronics Components and Systems (EFECS), and will now leverage the FlexIC Foundry to transfer a range of other flexible plastic circuit designs into volume manufacturability;
- Productivity Engineering GmbH (part of Serma Technologies Group) is extending their successful ASIC design service to include ultra-low-cost flexible ASICs. The company developed its own proprietary analog and digital IP cells and libraries to design flexible integrated circuits for the IoT and Industrial market; and
- Talkin’ Things, in addition to offering tags based on the ConnectIC family, are also designing their own RFID FlexICs with proprietary functionality.
“We are very pleased to work closely with these distinguished companies during the development of our FlexIC Foundry,” said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC. “We see this as being key to putting our novel technology in the hands of designers all around the world to create more pioneering products and advance them rapidly from concept to reality.”
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About Pragmatic Semiconductor
Pragmatic Semiconductor is a leader in semiconductor innovation, creating ultra low cost, ultra thin, flexible integrated circuits (‘electronic chips’).
Pragmatic’s chip is produced without silicon, using thin-film semiconductors to create flexible integrated circuits that are thinner than a human hair, and are significantly cheaper and faster to produce than silicon chips. This provides a compelling alternative for many mainstream electronics applications, as well as enabling new applications not possible with silicon.
Pragmatic’s chips can be embedded into almost anything, bringing connectivity and intelligence to everyday objects. Example applications include radio frequency identification (RFID) and near field communications (NFC) giving objects unique digital identities as well as enabling objects to interact with their environment. This has benefits across the entire product lifecycle, including inventory reduction, traceability, counterfeit detection, proof of provenance, and customer interaction. Pragmatic’s technology can also be used to help reduce food waste, improve the return and recycling of singleuse packaging, and enable item-level traceability within a universal system for recapture, sorting, cleaning, and return.
Our foundry service uniquely allows agile hardware design, exponentially accelerating solution development and time-to-market. Examples include proprietary RFID protocols, time/temperature indicators, fingerprint sensors, wearable smart patches for healthcare, flexible display drivers, and novel microprocessor architectures.
We also offer a Fab-as-a-Service model that enables secure, dependable, localised semiconductor supply through manufacturing directly on a customer’s site. This highly scalable distributed production allows cost effective, high-volume fabrication of flexible integrated circuits.
Pragmatic is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with our first fab operating in Sedgefield, and a second fab under construction at our new 15-acre Pragmatic Park site in Durham.
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