FlexIC Foundry enables custom flexible integrated circuit design

Pragmatic has developed a unique and patented semiconductor device platform that offers the possibility of inventing entirely new applications for electronics: in addition to being ultra-low, it is also ultra-thin and flexible, and can be easily combined with other thin film electronic components to create new solutions. Our FlexIC Foundry now enables third parties to access this technology to design and manufacture their own Custom Flexible Integrated Circuits (FlexICs). For more information, see the IDTechEx report on Printed, Organic and Flexible Electronics 2020-2030: Forecast, Technologies, Markets.
PragmatIC initially created the FlexIC Foundry to accelerate the development and launch of its ConnectIC® family of RFID FlexICs earlier this year. ConnectICs are application-specific standard products that provide the ideal solution for being able to add connectivity and interactivity to billions of everyday objects, with the potential to increase the addressable RFID market by an order of magnitude. or more.

FlexICs are produced in our FlexLogIC® manufacturing system, a highly scalable “fab-in-a-box” capable of delivering billions of FlexICs per year. FlexLogIC is self-contained and highly automated, delivering a disruptive production approach aligned with just-in-time delivery of mass market volumes.

The FlexIC Foundry offering combines the FlexLogIC Process Design Kit (PDK) with a fast output cycle for production wafers, enabling product iteration and refinement without the cost and time scale constraints of a silicon factory. The PDK is based on an industry standard Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool stream; it includes a basic device library, simulation models, design rules, and a growing library of standard cells to aid in footprint design and optimization.

The FlexIC foundry is currently in beta and PragmatIC has worked with selected partners who use it to create custom tours, including:

  • Arm’s research team worked with partners to design a customized, cost-effective machine learning (ML) chip on a flexible substrate to recognize odors;
  • Cambridge Consultants provides customized FlexIC design services to its global customer base, leveraging its in-depth expertise in ASICs, intellectual property and end product development;
  • imec has designed RFID FlexICs as part of the PING consortium, winner of the Innovation Product Award at the European Electronic Components and Systems Forum (EFECS), and will now operate the FlexIC foundry to transfer a range of other flexible plastic circuit designs in manufacturability volume;
  • Productivity Engineering GmbH (part of the Serma Technologies group) is expanding its successful ASIC design service to include flexible ASICs at very low cost. The company has 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 labels based on the ConnectIC family, also designs its own RFID FlexICs with exclusive features.

“We are very happy to work closely with these distinguished companies during the development of our FlexIC foundry”, said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC. “We see this as the key to putting our new technology in the hands of designers around the world to create more innovative products and move them quickly from concept to reality. “

PragmatIC is a world leader in ultra-low cost flexible electronics, enabling the potential of trillions of smart objects that can interact with consumers and their environments. Our unique technology platform provides Flexible Integrated Circuits (FlexICs) that are thinner than a human hair and can be easily integrated into everyday objects. PragmatIC’s solutions offer the ability to add new functionality, as well as extend proven applications such as RFID and NFC in mass market use cases previously prohibited by the cost of traditional silicon integrated circuits. Our innovative and differentiated products are adopted by a growing base of global companies in a variety of markets, including consumer goods, games, retail, pharmaceuticals and security industries. PragmatIC’s first product family, the ConnectIC® series of RFID FlexIC, was launched in February 2019. In 2 months, we received orders of over 20 million units from customers in Europe, America North and Asia, endorsing it as the ideal solution to introduce connectivity into consumer applications. PragmatIC is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with our first billion-unit production facility in Sedgefield. Shareholders include Cambridge Innovation Capital, Arm and Avery dennison.

Source: PragmatIC

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