Pragmatic opens UK’s first 300mm fab

Pragmatic opens UK’s first 300mm fab

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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Pragmatic Semiconductor has officially opened the UK’s first 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication line (fab) at Pragmatic Park in Durham.

The advanced manufacturing facility produces chips based on Pragmatics flexible integrated circuit technology rather than silicon, although it does use 300mm silicon wafers as the substrate.

Pragmatic’s FlexICs are low-cost, more sustainable alternatives to silicon chips, ultra-thin, with a flexible form factor they enable connect, sense and compute capabilities, fuelling the Internet of Things (IoT) across multiple sectors including consumer, industrial and healthcare.

The company aims to provide item level intelligence to trillions of smart objects from smart packaging of fast-moving consumer goods to waste management using RFID tags, enabling a circular economy. Other uses include wearables, sensors and flexible controllers.

Pragmatic Park has capacity to host up to nine fabrication lines, each capable of producing billions of chips per year. The manufacturing process users fewer process steps and a more concentrated footprint than standard silicon fabs, giving a rapid production cycle time of less than 48 hours at very low cost.

The manufacturing process also uses significantly less energy and less water than typical silicon manufacturing, and fewer harmful gases. 

Pragmatic’s modular ‘Fab-in-a-Box’ approach, supports co-location of end-to-end FlexIC manufacturing at customers sites, rationalising extended supply chains and providing additional levels of security and resilience. The manufacturing facility enables the company to meet the growing demand for its unique technology from customers worldwide. Over the next five years Pragmatic anticipates creating over 500 highly skilled jobs in the North-East of England and Cambridge.

”Today’s official opening marks a key milestone in Pragmatic’s growth trajectory and for the UK on the global semiconductor stage. I am incredibly proud of what the team has achieved and the ambition of our mission to enable item level intelligence in over a trillion sustainable, smart items over the next decade. Such intelligence at scale has the power to accelerate the digital transformation across industries. Sustainability is at the very core of our technology and extends to how FlexICs enable our customers to further drive innovations and pathways through their products and services towards global net zero goals,” said David Moore, CEO of Pragmatic Semiconductor.

“The key to any effective collaboration is a shared mindset. Pragmatic’s innovative approach is reflective of our own, as is its commitment to helping solve business challenges,” said Francisco Melo, President Solutions Group at investor and packaging giant Avery Dennison. “The opening of an advanced manufacturing chip facility is fantastic news for all technology innovators. Congratulations to Pragmatic on such an important and impressive achievement. I look forward to our clients harnessing the potential of Pragmatic’s flexible integrated circuits as part of our evolving inlay portfolio.

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