ARM invests in PragmatIC's $80 million expansion

October 18, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
ARM invests in PragmatIC's $80 million expansion
Flexible circuit maker PragmatIC Semiconductor Ltd. (Cambridge, England) has secured $80 million in funding from a set of investors that includes ARM Ltd.

The company manufactures circuits on polyimide substrates allowing flexible and low-cost ICs to be embedded in everyday objects. The money will be used to expand the company's manufacturing facility at Sedgefield in North-East England and allow it to offer its manufacturing technology as a foundry service.

The complete set of investors was not named by includes Cambridge Innovation Capital, Avery Dennison and ARM.

"Our FlexLogIC-002 fab will deliver significantly higher capacity than our first line, whilst still maintaining our signature ultra-low capex, fast production cycle time and minimal carbon footprint," said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC Semiconductor. "In addition to supporting our continued commercial ramp, it provides a template for rolling out a distributed global network of FlexLogIC systems, offering a Fab-as-a-Service (FaaS) for dedicated production on major customer sites to enable efficient and secure semiconductor supply chains."

Erik Langaker, chairman, said: "This capital raise is a fantastic recognition of the achievements of Scott White, Richard Price and their team. The round has been subscribed by a highly qualified select group of industrial and individual investors with significant experience in the semiconductor industry. Their backing will enable the team to more than double in size over the next 12 months and expand capacity to fulfil the rapidly growing demand for electronics in everyday objects."

In the last year PragmatIC has demonstrated the ability to make flexible microprocessors. These include the 6502 and PlasticArm, a Cortex-M0 based system-on-a-chip which is 12 times more complex than previous state-of-the-art flexible electronics. This is in addition to such things as active and passive RFID tags.

"Billions of everyday objects could benefit from being part of the Internet of Things, but to continue to scale sustainably we need to explore new approaches for embedding intelligence into everyday objects," said Dipesh Patel, ARM chief technology officer.

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