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Princess Anne opens Pragmatic’s semiconductor fabrication line in Durham





HRH Princess Anne opened Pragmatic Semiconductor’s semiconductor factory - the UK’s first 300mm semiconductor fabrication line - at Pragmatic Park in Durham.

The Cambridge Science Park-headquartered company is revolutionising semiconductor fabrication with ultra-low-cost, flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) technology that makes it quick and easy to embed intelligence almost anywhere.

HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry. Picture: Pragmatic
HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry. Picture: Pragmatic

FlexICs are thinner than a human hair and, invisibly embedded in objects, enable novel solutions simply not possible with standard electronics. Application of these smart sensing solutions spans a vast range of use cases and sectors, from temperature and humidity tracking in smart agriculture, to heart monitoring for wearable technology and motion detection in home and business security systems.

With rapid cycle times that substantially accelerate time to market, the Durham foundry provides high-volume fabrication at a fraction of the cost of silicon, with a significantly lower environmental impact.

Last week, the company’s staff welcomed HRH The Princess Royal who officially opened the 60,000sq m brownfield site on Pragmatic Park. The development is set to provide 500 additional highly-skilled jobs in the UK over the next five years and sets the standard for smart, sustainable semiconductor manufacturing.

HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry. Picture: Pragmatic
HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry. Picture: Pragmatic

HRH The Princess Royal was hosted by David Moore, CEO, Pragmatic Semiconductor, with a tour of the clean room and facilities, followed by an unveiling of a site plaque to mark the occasion. Attendees included key customers, ecosystem partners, investors and government officials.

“The opening of an advanced manufacturing chip facility is fantastic news for all technology innovators,” said Francisco Melo, president Solutions Group of Pragmatic investor Avery Dennison. “Congratulations to Pragmatic on such an important and impressive achievement.”

Simon Little, banking and investments director, UKIB and Pragmatic board member, said: “The Bank invested in Pragmatic to support low-carbon domestic manufacturing of semiconductors in the UK. The official opening of Pragmatic Park in Durham marks a pivotal next step in its journey, and we look forward to seeing the long-term impact of our investment, as Pragmatic scales up its operation and creates highly skilled jobs here in the North-East.”

Pragmatic Semiconductor opens its Durham foundry, March 2024
Pragmatic Semiconductor opens its Durham foundry, March 2024

Niranjan Sirdeshpande, global head of M&G’s Catalyst strategy and Pragmatic board member, said: “By providing growth equity to enterprising tech disruptors such as Pragmatic, M&G’s £5bn Catalyst strategy can help them to scale, provide expertise and partner with them all the way to success. Put to work in this way, patient capital can support economic growth and capture value for peoples’ pensions and savings as we transition to a more sustainable economy. We are proud to support Pragmatic’s work in Durham with tech advancement in this critical part of the UK’s national infrastructure.”

The foundry manufactures Pragmatic's chips using less energy, water usage, and emissions, and its modular approach enhances supply chain efficiency and resilience.

David Moore, CEO, Pragmatic Semiconductor, said: “Today’s official opening marks a key milestone in Pragmatic’s growth trajectory and for the UK on the global semiconductor stage.

HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry with CEO David Moore. Picture: Pragmatic
HRH The Princess Royal at the opening of Pragmatic's Durham foundry with CEO David Moore. Picture: Pragmatic

“I am incredibly proud of what the team has achieved and the ambition of our mission to enable item level intelligence in over a trillion sustainable, smart items over the next decade. Such intelligence at scale has the power to accelerate the digital transformation across industries.

“Sustainability is at the very core of our technology and extends to how FlexICs enable our customers to further drive innovations and pathways through their products and services towards global net zero goals.”



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