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Press releases - October 14, 2022

Pragmatic Semiconductor leads £2.4 million project to develop sustainable manufacturing technologies

Accelerates innovation in smart sustainable manufacturing technologies

Pragmatic Semiconductor, a world leader in flexible electronics, today announces it is leading a £2.4 million project with funding provided by the Made Smarter Innovation: Smart Sustainable Factory Challenge at UK Research and Innovation. The INSPIRE project will develop and deploy new digital technologies within Pragmatic’s FlexLogIC® semiconductor fabrication facilities, to drive improved resource efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing operations.

Sustainability to become a measure of fab performance

Specifically, the funding will focus on innovation that will help to accelerate the decarbonisation of semiconductor manufacturing, by optimising the consumption, quality, and recovery of resources across wafer processing, tools, and facilities. The smart factory approaches developed will demonstrate how sustainability can become a measure of fab performance by manufacturers globally.

Scott White, CEO of Pragmatic Semiconductor added “We have already developed semiconductor devices that are significantly more cost-effective and sustainable than traditional silicon chips – and now we are excited to lead the way in new manufacturing technologies that will reduce our environmental impact even further. Ultimately, we aim to develop and define best-in-class sustainable semiconductor manufacturing practices, to accelerate decarbonisation and improve resource efficiency within the industry.”

Creating more sustainable smart factories for semiconductor manufacturing

The project will integrate new manufacturing technologies with existing systems:

  • Sensors capturing resource usage and quality – water, chemicals, gases and energy
  • Development of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, aggregating operational, tools and facilities data to drive optimisation
  • Active water and energy management, minimising consumption and maximising recovery
  • Ensuring operational performance, including measures of capacity, cycle time, equipment performance, process variation and yield improvement

To realise these aspirations, Pragmatic Semiconductor is working alongside innovative partners such as DevTank, Innoflow and SUEZ to leverage best-in-class technology.

Commenting on their role in the project, Ben Harding, Regional Vice President for UK and Ireland, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions said:  

“Water scarcity and carbon emissions are issues that impact us on a global scale. INSPIRE is a unique opportunity to apply our Insight® digital monitoring platform to measure and optimise consumption, determining best practices for minimising carbon footprint and environmental impact within microelectronics and other manufacturing sectors.”

– ENDS –

About Pragmatic Semiconductor

Pragmatic Semiconductor is a world leader in ultra-low-cost flexible electronics. Our unique technology platform enables innovators to create novel solutions to everyday problems that are beyond the scope of conventional electronics. Our ConnectIC® family of flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) are thinner than a human hair and extend proven applications such as RFID and NFC into mass market use cases, enabling the potential for trillions of smart objects that can engage with consumers and their environments. Our novel, differentiated products are being adopted by a growing base of global companies across diverse markets, including consumer goods, games, retail, pharmaceutical and security. Alternatively, designers can create their own application-specific flexible devices using our FlexIC Foundry® offering at a fraction of the cost and time required for traditional silicon circuits, opening up multiple new markets beyond RFID. These FlexICs are manufactured on our revolutionary FlexLogIC® production system, a highly scalable manufacturing model for cost-effective high-volume production, achieved with orders of magnitude less capital investment and operating cost compared to a traditional silicon IC fab. PragmatIC is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with manufacturing operations in the North East. Shareholders include Cambridge Innovation Capital, Arm, Avery Dennison and Amcor.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of over £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England. We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally. Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.

About Made Smarter Innovation

Made Smarter Innovation is a national programme to help businesses who make things capitalize on new digital technologies. Our programme will support the transformation of UK’s manufacturing capabilities through the development and innovation of industrial digital technologies (IDTs). We give UK manufacturers access to a digital innovation ecosystem that helps prove their idea, quickly develop it with experts and scale it. The £300 million partnership between government and industry will provide match-funding, specialist advice and result in radical manufacturing solutions. Delivered by UK Research and Innovation.

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