From now on S3 Semiconductors will focus on serving industrial and communications OEMs and converting their PCBs, subsystems and systems into mixed-signal ICs delivered as packaged and tested components.

A spokesperson for the company said it would continue to provide design services and IP licensing, a business model that S3 has pursued in the semiconductor sector for many years, but would be looking to focus on providing custom chips designed from a system-level perspective. The company’s web site ( includes an online calculator that gives customers a first estimate of potential savings.

S3semi has completed over 1000 mixed-signal chip designs for use in industrial and communications markets an IP portfolio spanning analog front ends, clocks, data converters, power management, RF transceivers and temperature sensors.

“For several years now, we’ve been discussing with a growing number of our OEM customers the challenges they face with driving down system costs and differentiating their products,” said John O’Brien, CEO of parent company, S3 Group. “Our semiconductor group has an excellent reputation as experts in high performance design for communications, industrial control and consumer applications, but most people don’t appreciate we also have many years’ experience managing the production and logistics of chips for a number of our customers. As Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT gathers pace, and the number of sensor nodes in systems grows, that’s the service OEMs are looking for, so it’s now our primary focus.”

Next: Lower volumes

Many semiconductor vendors are no longer prepared to engage with industrial and communications OEMs because the volumes required for applications are perceived to be low compared with consumer electronics. S3semi is ready to design each chip for only one customer and engage at the system level.

S3semi designs and manufactures chips that integrate the analog circuitry to interface to sensors, power supplies, electric motors, actuators and other real-world electrical signals with digital processors, memory and control logic. These mixed-signal chips deliver a cost-effective combination of local intelligence, sensor fusion and communications.

S3 Semiconductors is accepting orders now for new designs expected to enter volume production in 2018 and 2019.

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