Pragmatic Semiconductor secures $80 million funding
New investment supports second FlexLogic fab to meet soaring demand for flexible chips
Pragmatic Semiconductor, a world leader in flexible electronics, is proud to announce that it has secured $80 million of Series C funding. This scale-up investment will be used to build a second FlexLogIC® fab in the North East of England, to meet the growing demand for ultra-low-cost flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) for the Internet of Everything, and strengthening the position of the UK in its ambition to be a leading designer and manufacturer of next generation semiconductors.
“This successful Series C round is a testament to the potential for our technology to enable trillions of smart items and address key UN sustainable development goals,” said Scott White, CEO of Pragmatic Semiconductor. “Our FlexLogIC-002 fab will deliver significantly higher capacity than our first line, whilst still maintaining our signature ultra-low capex, fast production cycle time and minimal carbon footprint. In addition to supporting our continued commercial ramp, it provides a template for rolling out a distributed global network of FlexLogIC systems, offering a Fab-as-a-Service (FaaS) for dedicated production on major customer sites to enable efficient and secure semiconductor supply chains.”
Erik Langaker, independent Chair of the Board, added: “This capital raise is a fantastic recognition of the achievements of Scott White, Richard Price and their team. The round has been subscribed by a highly qualified select group of industrial and individual investors with significant experience in the semiconductor industry. Their backing will enable the team to more than double in size over the next 12 months and expand capacity to fulfil the rapidly growing demand for electronics in everyday objects.”
Pragmatic’s development over the past few years has seen the launch of its flagship ConnectIC® product line of ultra-low-cost RFID FlexICs, as well as its FlexIC Foundry® service enabling innovative designers to create more pioneering products and advance them rapidly from concept to reality. This year it has demonstrated an order-of-magnitude improvement in complexity and compute capability for non-silicon chips by producing flexible microprocessors. These include the iconic 6502 and PlasticArm, an ultra-minimalist Arm® Cortex®-M0 based system-on-a-chip which is 12 times more complex than previous state-of-the-art flexible electronics.
PlasticArm is the result of many years of collaboration between the two companies, a partnership that is set to continue long into the future with semiconductor IP leader Arm participating in this funding round.
“Billions of everyday objects could benefit from being part of the Internet of Things, but to continue to scale sustainably we need to explore new approaches for embedding intelligence into everyday objects,” said Dipesh Patel, Chief Technology Officer at Arm. “Flexible electronics can extend the range and scope of what is possible today and we see massive potential for it to be creatively adopted by the Arm ecosystem, leading to innovation with global impact.”
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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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