ConnectICs are ultra-low cost application-specific standard products designed to add connectivity and interactivity into trillions of everyday objects, with the potential to increase the addressable RFID market by an order of magnitude or more. Ultra-thin and flexible, the so-called FlexICs can be easily combined with other thin film electronic components to create novel solutions.
Now PragmatIC allows third parties to access its technology to design and manufacture their own custom flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) using its FlexIC Foundry services, with the plastic chips to be produced in PragmatIC’s “fab-in-a-box”, a manufacturing system capable of delivering billions of FlexICs per annum.
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.
Some of the company’s early partners include IP provider Arm, whose research team has been working on the design of a cost-effective, custom machine learning (ML) chip on a flexible substrate for recognising odours. Cambridge Consultants is offering custom FlexIC design services to its global client base, leveraging its deep expertise across ASICs, IP and end-product development.
Microelectronics research centre imec has 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 now extending its 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.
Talkin’ Things, in addition to offering tags based on the ConnectIC family, is 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.”
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