PragmatIC releases PDK for new FlexIC Foundry service

November 18, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Initially, PragmatIC created the Flexible IC (FlexIC) Foundry to accelerate the development and launch of its ConnectIC family of flexible plastic RFID chips.

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.

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