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Pragmatic Semiconductor Unveils UK’s First 300mm Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication Line

by Anna

Today marked a significant milestone for Pragmatic Semiconductor as HRH The Princess Royal officially inaugurated the UK’s inaugural 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication line (fab) at Pragmatic Park in Durham.

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This advanced manufacturing facility signifies a leap forward in semiconductor technology, as it specializes in producing chips based on Pragmatic’s groundbreaking flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) technology. CEO David Moore warmly welcomed HRH The Princess Royal, guiding her through a tour of the pristine clean room and state-of-the-art facilities. The event culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to mark the auspicious occasion, attended by esteemed guests including key customers, ecosystem partners, investors, and government officials.

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Pragmatic’s FlexICs offer a paradigm shift in semiconductor design, offering low-cost, sustainable alternatives to traditional silicon chips. These ultra-thin, flexible circuits enable connect, sense, and compute capabilities, driving innovation across various sectors such as consumer electronics, industrial applications, healthcare, and beyond.

The company’s mission extends beyond technological advancement; it aims to provide item-level intelligence to trillions of smart objects over the next decade. With a focus on applications like smart packaging in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, Pragmatic anticipates significant improvements in reuse, recycling, and waste management, fostering a circular economy. Other potential applications include wearables, sensors, and flexible controllers, highlighting the versatility and potential impact of FlexIC technology.

Pragmatic Park, equipped to host up to nine fabrication lines, boasts a capacity capable of producing billions of chips annually. The company’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout its operations, with a manufacturing process that utilizes fewer steps and a more concentrated footprint compared to conventional silicon fabs. Moreover, Pragmatic’s innovative manufacturing process supports rapid production cycles of less than 48 hours, ensuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

In addition to reducing environmental impact, Pragmatic’s manufacturing process also consumes less energy, water, and produces fewer harmful emissions compared to traditional methods. The company’s modular ‘Fab-in-a-Box’ approach further enhances sustainability by supporting on-site FlexIC manufacturing, minimizing supply chain complexities and enhancing security and resilience.

The inauguration of this manufacturing facility positions Pragmatic to meet the growing global demand for its innovative technology. Over the next five years, the company anticipates creating over 500 highly skilled jobs in the North-East of England and Cambridge, contributing to regional economic growth and technological leadership.

CEO David Moore expressed pride in the company’s achievements, emphasizing the transformative potential of item-level intelligence enabled by FlexICs. He highlighted sustainability as a core tenet of Pragmatic’s technology, underscoring its role in driving innovation and progress towards global net-zero goals.

Esteemed partners echoed their support and enthusiasm for Pragmatic’s endeavors. Francisco Melo, President Solutions Group at Avery Dennison, commended Pragmatic’s innovative approach and expressed anticipation for the integration of FlexICs into their evolving inlay portfolio. Simon Little, Banking & Investments Director at UKIB and Pragmatic Board member, emphasized the importance of supporting low-carbon domestic manufacturing and lauded Pragmatic’s pivotal role in advancing semiconductor technology in the UK.

Niranjan Sirdeshpande, Global Head of M&G’s Catalyst strategy and Pragmatic Board member, highlighted the critical role of patient capital in supporting tech disruptors like Pragmatic. He emphasized M&G’s commitment to providing growth equity to innovative companies, underscoring the potential for economic growth and value creation in sustainable technology.

The unveiling of the UK’s first 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication line marks a significant achievement for Pragmatic Semiconductor and a leap forward in semiconductor technology. As the company continues to scale its operations and drive innovation, it is poised to shape the future of the semiconductor industry while contributing to a more sustainable and connected world.

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