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Ilika announces a collaboration with PragmatIC and Arm Holdings (‘Arm’) to further progress development in ultra-thin and flexible semiconductor technology for mass market applications.

The 18-month project is supported by Innovate UK funding of £0.6m of which £0.4m will be payable to Ilika.

The principal objective of this collaboration is to deliver novel P-type metal-oxide semiconductor (‘PMOS’) circuit technology that can significantly enhance the characteristics of PragmatIC’s CMOS designs. The project focusses on investigating the operating parameters of PMOS, using Ilika’s high throughput thin-film techniques which are proven for rapid identification and screening of functional thin-film materials. The initial phase of the project is intended to demonstrate the innovative thin film transistor performance, which is to be followed by scale-up and transfer of the material to deposition processes in a production environment.

Market Opportuntity

Ultra low-power and ultra low-cost flexible electronics provide the opportunity to add functionality to many items, as well as extending proven applications such as RFID and NFC into mass-market use cases that were previously prohibited by the cost of traditional silicon integrated circuits (‘ICs’). The first application for these flexible ICs (‘FlexICs’) is the smart packaging market which is predicted to grow at CAGR of 8% to a projected value of $7.8 billion by 2021, according to Smithers Pira.

This collaboration intends to develop technology that can potentially accelerate the progression of FlexICs along their own Moore’s Law, with higher integration, lower power and costs, which will produce FlexICs suitable for many more market segments including applications for advanced authentication and security applications.

Dr. Richard Price, PragmatIC CTO, stated: “This collaboration will build on our previous work under Innovate UK’s COSMOS project. By partnering with Ilika and Arm we look forward to augmenting our technology roadmap and enabling the development of future FlexICs.”

Commenting on this collaboration, Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, said: "This collaboration is a strong fit with our technology capability in rapidly developing novel thin-film materials and devices. A successful outcome would enable the collaboration partners to address large global markets in this disruptive sector. This programme is expected to yield a complementary IoT-focused technology alongside our StereaxÔ  M250 solid-state batteries.”