PragmatIC launches FlexIC Foundry

2 mins read

PragmatIC has developed a patented semiconductor device platform to provide engineers with a customised and more flexible design environment for integrated circuits.

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. The FlexIC Foundry has been designed to allow third parties to access the 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 are able to add connectivity and interactivity into trillions of objects, with the potential to increase the addressable RFID market by an order of magnitude or more.

The FlexICs are produced in the company's FlexLogIC manufacturing system, which is 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, according to the company.

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.”