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Chairman’s Statement


Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, BIS

Yearbook 2011-2012 Contact:

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Chief Executive’s Statement


Annual Review


Electronic Systems


Ian Phillips

Semiconductor Manufacturing 30 Tim Monaghan, Bob Butler, Allan Rankin

Research & Development




Semiconductor Suppliers


Power Electronics




NMI Board of Directors


NMI Design Advisory Board


NMI Members Directory


Dr Jeremy Bennett & Dr Kerstin Eder

Professor Bill Drury

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express written permission from NMI. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate and up to date, the publishers take no responsibility for errors or omissions. Opinions expressed in editorial contributions to this publication are those of their respective authors and are not necessarily shared by NMI.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Allard van der Horst, John Dunne, Neil Sellars


Foreword employment the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund was launched alongside the Local Growth White Paper in October 2010, with a first round of bidding followed by the second, and main, round in April 2011. I have been pleased with the positive responses we received and would encourage you to visit the BIS website, www., for details of the two rounds of the Regional Growth Fund.

Mark Prisk MP Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, BIS

The UK electronics sector continues to play an important role as we rebalance and renew our economy. It is essential, however, that the sector coordinates its activities across its supply chains, working in partnership with government to address barriers to growth. I was pleased, therefore, when earlier this year the NMI took on a leadership role to help the wider electronics sector produce a high level strategy to identify the key issues impacting growth. I look forward to reading the conclusions of this work. As part of our programme of investment to create economic growth and sustainable


Innovation is vital for economic growth and that is why, despite the vast deficit we inherited, we will continue to invest in the science and research base. We have increased the R&D tax credit rate for small and medium-sized businesses and strengthened the role of the Technology Strategy Board. Over the next four years the TSB will provide support worth over £1bn for business led R&D, including £200 million to establish a network of Technology and Innovation Centres to help UK industry commercialise new and emerging technologies. Furthermore, the Government is currently developing an innovation and research strategy, which will propose policy measures relevant to high-tech sectors such as electronics and will take into account the different mix of inputs required for innovation in all sectors of the economy. We are continuing to make good progress on creating a better business environment for growth. In April we published “One-in, One-out: Statement of New Regulation” showing a net reduction in overall regulatory burden to business, followed by an update in September. We also launched the Red Tape Challenge to

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

tackle the stock of regulation, theme by theme. We announced the outcome of the first theme, Retail, in July where we will be removing just over half of the 257 regulations and improving or simplifying others. The manufacturing theme also went live in July, followed by enforcement, with results expected to be announced later this year and early 2012. Skills are vital to our economy. As part of our ambition to forge closer ties between industry, colleges and other training providers in order to improve skills we have launched a ÂŁ25m Higher Apprenticeship Fund. This will support the development of new Apprenticeship schemes delivering up to 10,000 Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships through to 2015. These Apprenticeships will help give firms in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information technology and engineering the hi-tech skills they need to grow.

“I was pleased, therefore, when earlier this year the NMI took on a leadership role to help the wider electronics sector produce a high level strategy to identify the key issues impacting growth.� The electronics team at BIS have taken a leading role with the NMI to develop a high level strategy for the power electronics sector. The UK is already considered internationally competitive in parts of the supply chain and we have some prominent global players and innovative SMEs. I believe that this strategy will be an important tool in helping the sector work with government to tackle barriers to growth. The next year will continue to present major challenges for business but I am certain that the strategy work which this sector is undertaking, if used effectively, will put it in good standing to maintain its significant position in the UK economy. Mark Prisk MP Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, BIS

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


Chairman’s Statement It is now almost a year since I took over as Chairman of NMI, and what a privilege and a pleasure it has been. I have tried to meet as many members as possible together with a very representative group of people involved in the wider ecosystem including Government departments, members of related industry associations and a number of players in the investment community. My overwhelming impression is that it is a healthy and vibrant scene despite the ‘doom and gloom’ that pervades much of the news these days. I am also struck by the hotbed of opportunity the talent in the UK electronics business represents in comparison with many other countries – notably those in Asia. That’s not to say there aren’t problems, such as the dwindling of the domestic end market over the last few decades. However, I see a resurgence of confidence in our core capability of electronics based on expertise and smartness rather than sheer scale. The result is that many of our companies are supremely well placed to operate in today’s global marketplace and to move quickly to develop core technologies and exploit new opportunities. There is greater acceptance of the growing role of electronic devices in our daily lives and, accompanying this, is a more selective evaluation of technology by end customers – devices have to do what they are supposed to do simply and inexpensively, and are expected to work every time. There has rarely been a time when the industry’s adaptability has been as important as it is today as consumer demands change quickly, frequently and often unpredictably.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

David Wollen NMI Chairman

You see the same effect with the growing adoption of advanced technology ‘under the hood’ to address modern concerns about the environment and green issues. Success here depends on a deeper understanding of the role of devices in complete electronic systems. The acceleration in the rate of change provides the framework for what NMI is all about. Without such change, electronics would probably not exist in the first place. It engenders an environment where frequent opportunities arise and we need to respond by matching talent with the requisite resources, knowledge,


skills, infrastructure, finances and government support. This is NMI in a nutshell – driven by the needs of, and for, its own membership. Taking these influences together there are a number of areas that we have been focusing on within NMI. Firstly, maintaining the basic utility for members. We are a pragmatic organisation and the networking and knowledge enhancement offered by our core activity of seminars, reports, advisory groups, specific technology networking events and skills development are our life-blood. Together with the NMI Annual Dinner and Industry Summit these are now firmly established in the industry calendar. We will continue to enhance them and develop other promotional vehicles for UK electronics globally. Secondly, fostering a closer relationship between companies involved throughout the entire lifecycle of Electronic Systems as they become more pervasive in society. This will allow a better perspective on requirements for electronic devices in such systems, and will facilitate information flow in both directions. More specifically, we are adding more Electronic Systems companies to our membership, which will be of great benefit to them and even greater benefit to existing members, especially those in semiconductors. Thirdly, we are encouraging closer relationships with Government. Electronics underpins and enables many of the major technological, environmental, economic and industrial foundations of government policy, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure all concerned are aware of this, and of its implications and

opportunities. We have been struck by the willing and open-minded approach from Government to address such issues, especially within BIS. We believe we are truly unique in offering a consolidated and representative view of our industry from our membership which is active in proliferating the success of UK electronics globally. A stronger voice for the industry will manifest itself in the ESCO Report being compiled with other trade associations, selected academics and industry representatives. We very much welcome this cooperative approach, and I would like to welcome Jamie Urquhart to the role of Chairman for this activity. Fourthly, investors, in the broadest sense, are important to the well-being of many of our members and we continue to further develop networking and activity to involve this community. These activities significantly enhance our ongoing programmes for representing and promoting UK electronics internationally. In addition, we are passionate about supporting the development of the next generation of engineers via continuing support for the UKESF. NMI has achieved a great deal recently, and there is much more yet to be done. I would like to thank the NMI staff for their dedication and hard work, and also for the spirit of adventure, achievement and challenge with which they approach it – a great reflection of our industry. Whatever the next global economic crisis throws at us, NMI will be there to help members throughout the ecosystem both to weather it and to capitalise on the inevitable opportunities it opens up. David Wollen NMI Chairman


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


                

  


  

Chief Executive’s Statement 2011 has been a particularly notable year in the evolution of NMI, since during this year we have expanded our scope yet again – this time adding Electronic Systems companies to our core membership of semiconductor manufacture and design. We could even call it ‘NMI 3.0’, on the basis that our first incarnation was our inception in 1996 to represent semiconductor manufacturing, and the second was our expansion into semiconductor design in 2001. However it is important for me to point out that this evolution has been driven entirely by feedback from our members about the need for us to be a more inclusive organisation, and to involve all levels of the supply chain in order that we can develop a stronger voice for the industry. The change of name from ‘National Microelectronics Institute’ to the snappier abbreviation ‘NMI’ also reflects our wish to be representative of the industry beyond the semiconductor sector. The products that we enable are becoming smarter and more connected – mobile phones, tablet PCs and cars being typical examples, and beyond that to the ‘Internet of things’ – and it became necessary for us to adapt our mission strategy to better address the industry’s needs. We are responding to the need to build a better connected ecosystem and to draw strength from leading a stronger community – hence our strapline, “Together, We’re Better”. During 2011 we have also felt the impact of increasing our membership footprint in terms of our growing influence with Government policymakers. We have increasingly been invited to engage with Government: our letter

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Dr. Derek Boyd CEO, NMI

to Business Secretary Vince Cable was the catalyst for a series of meetings with Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise, which in turn led to the invitation to lead the strategic review on the UK Electronic Systems community and the key barriers to future growth, which will be chaired by Jamie Urquhart. To help launch this initiative Mark Prisk was an honoured guest at the 2011 NMI Summit in November. NMI has certainly struck a chord with Government. The sphere of influence of Electronic Systems neatly intersects with the


Government’s national priorities such as transport, energy and healthcare, and we have effectively drawn their attention to the UK’s strength in the key enabling technologies. NMI is the only organisation totally focused on this sector in the UK and Ireland. We are proud of our commitment to championing the wider semiconductor community across research, development and manufacturing and plan to continue in the same vein while extending our reach into Electronic Systems. I would direct you to read Prof. Ian Phillips’ article on page 26 for an authoritative and independent view of why this expansion of our ecosystem is both timely and essential. Our engagement beyond the chip is typified by our work on the National Strategy for Power Electronics, and we have been delighted with the support and encouragement we’ve received right across the spectrum, from electronic materials through automotive and aerospace, right up to the electricity distribution industry. We strongly feel we are enhancing the shared sense of community making NMI a natural focal point for the industry as a whole, and fostering a wider network of stakeholders. In this Yearbook we’ll be describing NMI’s work to bring together an ecosystem that spans technologies, applications and business, through supporting R&D, design, manufacturing, and the underlying infrastructure, including academia. We aim to engage with all these stakeholders, and to earn their respect and support. Informed by the

insight we gain from these sources, we plan to grow the level of engagement with public bodies providing them with new insight for their crucial decisions on how best to support our transforming industry through public investment. Our expanding scope and membership has led to a need to grow and develop our team, and I’m pleased to welcome both Alastair McGibbon, to lead our activities related to Research, Development & Innovation Policy, and Jon Older as Network Manager for Electronic Systems. At a personal level it’s hard to believe that I started at NMI 10 years ago. It’s been an amazing journey and a fantastic experience. My personal goal for the organisation has been to make a difference; to create and achieve things that enhance the future prospects for the industry. This of course covers a multitude of activities and, while we can’t keep everyone happy all of the time, I honestly believe we’re continually increasing member value. I’m delighted we’ve been able to expand the team in 2011 and our new resources will further enhance our ability to support you, our members. I’d like to finish with a personal thank you to the Team at NMI for being such a great bunch to work with and to all the friends and business contacts amongst the membership that make the team feel we’re doing such a worthwhile and valuable job…here’s to another 10 years of continued growth at NMI!

Dr Derek Boyd Chief Executive


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

NMI Annual Review Electronic Systems and all they entail cannot simply be described as a single technology or market; they are ‘the great enabler’ and intrinsic in almost every facet of modern life. Herein lays the opportunity for the new NMI; reconciling the needs of our core and loyal members whilst reaching out, with purpose, to more of the Electronics Systems community. By being more inclusive we can have greater impact – by working together we are unquestionably better. 2011 has proved to be a year of significant change and development for NMI, one where we have built on the accomplishment of prior years and driven forwards to achieve ever greater things. Mission Mission NMI is the trade association representing the UK Semiconductor, Microelectronics and Electronic Systems communities. NMI’s mission is to fuel the development of a sustainable, world-leading industry by building a strong network and acting as a catalyst and facilitator for commercial and technological development. A not-for-profit organisation funded by its members, NMI has a membership that spans the supply chain and includes Electronic Systems design and manufacturing companies, integrated device manufacturers, fabless semiconductor manufacturers, semiconductor foundries, semiconductor suppliers, intellectual property providers,


suppliers & service providers, research & academic institutions and national & regional government agencies.

Overview In 2011 we announced plans to create a more compelling trade association for existing and new members. We expanded the scope of membership and extended our range of services, taking up the challenge to act as ambassadors for more players in this important industry. This brings greater benefit to existing members and creates a broader focus for support to a wider proportion of the UK’s diverse Electronic Systems communities. Growing and uniting a diversity of membership interests has inspired us to re-brand from National Microelectronics Institute to simply NMI, and we’ve created a tagline which we passionately believe in: “Together We’re Better”. We have always promoted the benefits of communication between our members, and we have also increased collaboration with key agencies, such as TSB, UKEA, EPSRC and SEMTA, to more effectively work towards our mutual goals. Our strengthened membership has also served to increase the authority we can wield in our interaction with the Government, who now routinely turn to us in order to gain insight into the industry’s needs. This is exemplified by the invitation for NMI to take the lead on both the

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

‘Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities’ (ESCO) Report and the National Strategy for Power Electronics. Through the pages that follow we illustrate the rich and diverse work we undertake in support of a long term vibrant and successful industry including: Representation: Creating an identity and giving shape to a diverse and fragmented industry, creating a common voice and communicating needs effectively. Promotion: By its very nature, much of our activity and output is hidden from general view. In order to bring in the next generation of talented engineers, attract investment and promote the industry’s world-leading work, we champion the industry’s value to society and the economy by reaching out through the media, events and tradeshows.

Representing the Industry The UK’s Electronic Systems communities are diverse and fragmented and it’s therefore vital to give it shape and an identity in order to create a united voice and direct change. There is a continual need to establish strong representation, especially in this everchallenging economic climate, and one particular stakeholder that we’ve been keen to further build understanding and influence with is central government. We’re pleased to tell you that momentum is building as we grow in strength and engagement. Of particular note is the strategic report on the UK Electronic Systems community and the key

Connecting & Collaborating: NMI’s networking activities are designed to help professionals get connected to the innovation system and keep abreast of developments. Research, Development and Future Skills: The national supply of skills and R&D activity are critical to sustain and grow a world leading industry base here. NMI is working hard to assure the future wellbeing of our industry: promoting its work, supporting processes of innovation, stimulating investment to drive R&D and manufacturing excellence and enabling future skills – “Together, We’re Better”.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


barriers to future growth, which we have been asked to provide. The Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities (ESCO) Report will identify policy that will support growth and strengthen operations. NMI has asked industry expert and investor Jamie Urquhart to chair this research. At the time of going to press it is anticipated that the ESCO report will occupy a significant proportion of the discussion at the 2011 annual NMI Summit. Reflecting the increased awareness of the industry’s importance within central government, the summit welcomed Mark Prisk MP, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise as a speaker. The report’s findings will be published in 2012 and we strongly encourage you all to take part in this essential research. And shifting from a business context to a technical framework, we were also asked to lead on the National Strategy for Power Electronics, a manifesto for the industry as it makes the transition towards the green economy. As we seek to create a better future working environment for our members, we are also continuing to implement measures that represent contemporary industry needs. Key to enabling this goal is the NMI Design Advisory Board (NDAB) and the Manufacturing Steering Group (MSG) and the significant industry insight they deliver. The MSG was established to drive the competitive performance of UK and Ireland manufacturing. The group seeks to facilitate the flow of knowledge between its members and research is showing that those fabs that collaborate and benchmark perform much better, delivering improved productivity levels, lower costs and higher quality.


Representative of the entire microelectronics design industry – both large and small companies across the supply chain – NDAB seeks to reach a consensus on the major issues affecting UK-based design activity, recommending strategy and action plans for the long-term prosperity of the design sector as a whole. Its key priorities are industry promotion, sustainability (servicing existing teams and improving the skills pipeline) and the fostering of an internationally competitive business environment. A recent concern for members has been the Government’s review of innovation policy. The Dyson Report has exposed loopholes in the R&D tax credit system and NMI has spoken on behalf of its members to highlight the importance of these tax credits and give perspective of the grey areas. The unintended consequences of misinterpretation could be detrimental and a clear view regarding the importance of internal software development for engineering companies was represented. We firmly believe the UK’s electronic design, systems and manufacturing capabilities are among the best in the world despite the many challenges. And it is our goal to catalyse and consolidate this enviable position to take it forward for future growth. Promotion Electronic Systems, by their very nature, are hidden from general view, embedded in all sorts of products and industry verticals. In order to influence policy, bring in the next generation of talented engineers and promote the industry’s excellent work we need to reach out through the media, events and tradeshows.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

2011 has seen several significant anniversaries: April witnessed the 50th anniversary of Robert Noyce’s planar IC patent; and the microprocessor celebrated its 40th birthday in November. These landmarks presented the opportunity to engage the national press and highlight the importance of the UK industry to the general public – and with them investors, government and the next generation of engineers. We’d like to thank our members who were able to give their valuable time and speak with journalists from publications including the Telegraph, The Today Programme and Wired Magazine. This work additionally led to a fully focused supplement published in the Sunday Telegraph on the 23rd October. This publication placed NMI members at its very heart as many of you seized the opportunity to participate. The decline in students enrolling on Electronic Engineering degrees also presents a need to promote careers using tools such as the Sunday Times’ “Best Companies To Work For” lists… a publication where Electronics was notable by its absence and which has now been corrected by NMI. Electronics is already among the best paid and most stimulating industries to work in and we now ask for your help in promoting this fact by flooding the 2012 listings – enter via ‘The only constant is change’ may be a cliché yet it holds true for all of us. In 2011 we introduced three new categories for our prestigious industry awards: Technology Entrepreneur; Skills, Training and Development and the Semi360 Award, which recognises the changing nature of the industry and the imperative to innovate in both IC and application design for commercial success. April 2012 sees the return of our flagship conference and exhibition, The Future World

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Symposium. FWS-2010 brought together many of the key figures from the industry to discuss how ‘connectivity’ is affecting everything from transport to plasters. Held at Lord’s Cricket Ground, this promotional and future-looking platform was also attended by the BBC and New Scientist. FWS-2012 is set to be bigger and better as we head to Wembley and highlight the increasing use of Electronic Systems to solve problems and create market opportunities. See the rear cover of this Yearbook for more details. We also believe it is essential to support and promote a local supplier base in the UK. This is why we have produced an annual Supplier Directory which we actively hand out and send to buyers. We also make it available for download to ensure a greater level of visibility for local manufacturing suppliers. The 2011 Supplier Directory is available for download from the NMI website, and the 2012 edition will be available from January. We have also partnered with UKTI and Scottish Development International to extend our involvement in international tradeshows for our supplier members – a summary of activity is


shown in the table below.

Connecting & Collaborating Our networking activities are designed to help professionals get connected, stimulate innovation and to keep informed of applicable and timely developments. Innovation and excellence are key themes for industry performance and it’s vital that our networking activities support these, helping industry to improve its performance. Our community and value-chain networks form a big part of this and include technical networks, from design to manufacture, and innovation networks, such as Electronics Enabling the Low Carbon Economy (EELCE). NMI’s networks fulfil the vital role of knowledge transfer; the multiple and rapid flows of information which are at the heart of the innovation process and help industry stay abreast with best practice and next practice. We continued to instigate special-interest meetings and conference calls to foster collaboration.

Electronics Enabling the Low Carbon Economy Spanning the whole spectrum of applications and sectors, EELCE impinges on all technical disciplines and its work has led directly to NMI’s invitation from government to lead the National Power Electronics Strategy. The government published the findings on the 18th October, as the Yearbook went to press. The report identifies 5 key arenas for the UK: • Transport • Electricity generation, transmission and distribution • Consumer electronics and lighting • Industrial drives The report provides a summary status of the UK position and the support required to enhance our competitiveness in each area. The University of Bristol’s Professor Bill Drury supported us with the year-long study and we’d like to thank him, and those of you who took part in our nationwide series of workshops. See the article Power Electronics: A Strategy for Success on page 50. EELCE has also identified an unprecedented


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

depth of knowledge and expertise of automotive electronics within the UK. We’ve begun to bring key players together to establish a dedicated automotive electronics innovation network. Resonating with many of our activities, this network seeks to facilitate and promote innovation and strengthen our members’ relationships with the international automotive supply chain.

Design and Industrialisation Technical Networks NMI’s network events are a staple of the NMI service to members. 2011 saw an increase in Design Network activity with several events being over-subscribed and covering “High Speed Communications” (AMS-RF, March), “Multicore Processors” (Embedded, April), ”Energy Efficient Silicon Design” (SLD, September), “Low Power Design Verification” (Design Verification, June) and “Audio Everywhere” (AMS-RF, October). Communications, processors, the impact of software and low power continue to be key interest areas across the design networks. See “Optical Communications” article on page 58 and “The Software Drained My Battery” on page 39.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Industrialisation (or “design to manufacture”) networks help NMI members keep up to date. Our events proved ever popular with members as we tackled Design for Manufacture (November), Quality and Reliability (February), IC Connectivity & Packaging (May), and Fabless Operations (May and October). The Fabless Operations Forum proved to be of particular interest in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami; its timely response helped members understand the situation more fully and reduced its impact by assessing the effects on the global supply chain and keeping members fully briefed. Also of special note is the concern expressed regarding the Congolese civil war and the resulting military control of mineral supply known to be financing the conflict. These minerals could find their way into the global electronics supply chain and the UK fabless community expressed a clear position on the moral responsibility of its operations and worked to ensure that materials are sourced from high integrity sources. The Regulatory Action Group (RAG) was also formed as an action sub-group fo the Fabless Operations Forum and is primarily concerned with ISO standards and regulations, such as WEEE and RoHS. Manufacturing Manufacturing is performing well, with many companies seeing a significant increase in output and demand during 2011. It is also a sector that has particularly embraced the spirit of collaboration to move forward. Among the long list of forums and reviews established by the Manufacturing Steering Group to help promote best practice are the Equipment Engineering Forum, Purchasing Managers Review, Utilities and Energy Conservation Best Practice Forums and the newly formed


Industrial Group. There are many challenges of course and the group has identified a set of priority interest areas that it wishes to address through NMI support and collaboration. These range from process and technology issues, through staffing and competitiveness to tool sets and infrastructure. The 5th October saw the second annual Semiconductor Manufacturing Excellence Conference, in which teams gave presentations on specific projects that have significantly improved their sites performance in quality, cost, delivery or technology introduction. This conference served to reinforce the message that the UK is a world class location for semiconductor manufacturing excellence, showcasing a highly skilled and innovative workforce. A more in depth examination into the current state of manufacturing can found on page 30, with incisive viewpoints from Diodes’ Tim Monaghan, Bourne’s Bob Butler and Allan Rankin of International Rectifier. Electronic Systems Electronic Systems is a diverse sector and it’s a vital and thriving community of more than 20,000 businesses, employing more than a million people and contributes significantly to the UK economy. In April 2011 we appointed an additional Networks Manager, Jon Older, to ensure NMI creates the right range and level of support services for this expanded membership base. Jon’s primary aim is to identify the application areas and key engineering challenges where connectivity with the semiconductor industry will present stronger community building, enhanced business opportunities, improve engineering competence and a more influential voice. You’ll see more of Jon and his work throughout 2012.


Furthering Collaboration and Communication Collaboration also needs to happen at a local level and we’re proud to be a founding partner of the South West Microelectronics Innovation Network (iNET). The group works with local universities, organisations and partners within the region, providing tangible support to the strong community of electronic SMEs in this region. New for this year is our regular HR newsletter and members have also asked for a survey of salaries. We anticipate that we’ll also be examining the issues faced by employers and use the results to inform NMI policy on skills and employment. We’ve also improved the members’ area of the NMI website and enabled members to edit their own profiles so their details are always up to date. Lastly, our monthly bulletins, quarterly newsletter and this Yearbook too, provide an easy-to-access flow of information on business news and events. Research, Development and Skills Cultivating research & development and future skills is critical to sustain a world leading industrial base in the UK. The UK has an enviable reputation when it comes to research, development and innovation and these are areas where we routinely punch above our weight. But we cannot simply assume it will continue and there are improvements necessary if we are to sustain this level of excellence – in particular we need to improve the rate of commercial success from

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

See the article entitled “More Than Money – helping you build a sustainable business through R&D” on page 36 to get a better insight into public funding.

the investment in university R&D. We are therefore integrating R&D at the core of NMI activity, and have appointed Dr Alastair McGibbon to head a new position, Director of Research, Development and Innovation Policy. Alastair is an expert in using European and national funding as a business development tool and brings over 25 years of relevant industrial and academic experience. We will be providing practical support to those members undertaking or considering R&D through: • Brokering partnerships across business and academia; increasing the awareness of opportunities open to UK based companies • Offering information, advice and guidance to improve the success rate in funding competitions; and • Working with government and funding bodies to identify and target investment opportunities that engage the Electronic Systems community. Beginning in September 2011, the initiative has the support of key organisations including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). We urge you to engage with NMI as we help channel both domestic and foreign investment into the UK electronics sector.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

We have also participated, along with our members, in a number of bids to EPSRC, the TSB and similar funding bodies and were delighted to attend the launch of the Communications Engineering Doctoral Training Centre earlier this year. The £10 million, Bristol based facility has the support of 25 major UK companies, took on its first students in October and will improve the skills supply in the key disciplines associated with communications technologies. Of course, in order to continue to punch above our weight in innovation we need to invest in the next generation of talent and with an almost 50 per cent fewer students undertaking Electronic Engineering courses in 2008, compared with 2002, now is the time to work together to address the long term threat. Currently just one-third of engineering graduates enter the profession, with others moving on instead to different careers such as the financial sector. So working towards a sustainable supply of top-quality and industryprepared graduates involves not only making it attractive to young people to study for a degree, but also equipping them with the information that lets them choose to continue into the industry post graduation. And this is why we led the charge to create the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF). As reported last year the programme got off to a flying start offering 30 scholarships. In September 2011, UKESF announced that uptake and funding significantly increased with over 50 further scholarships being offered.


The inaugural intake of scholars has now completed its first year and in addition to university coursework they have undertaken work placements with their sponsoring company and attended the summer workshop on workplace skills. We’re also pleased to report the feedback on both the scheme and students has been unanimously positive. The increasing number of member companies signing up to the UKESF programme is encouraging but we still need more of you to come on board if we are to continue to increase the pool of high calibre talent. This is an opportunity for companies of all sizes to secure their future supply of engineers. If you’re interested in helping to secure a future supply of talented graduates then UKESF is for you. See “Key Facts” on page 24 for more information.

Conclusion NMI believes Electronics Systems is the great enabler, providing new and better solutions for modern living. The industry we host is not only world leading, importantly it also delivers sustainable societal and economic benefits. NMI provides a focal point for the Electronic Systems, Microelectronics and Semiconductor communities of the UK and Ireland, providing the most comprehensive range of support for Representation, Promotion, Innovation, Operational Excellence and Future Skills. We would like to thank all our members for their commitment, support and encouragement to drive the mission forwards. If you’re not an NMI member, isn’t it time you were?


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Why Join NMI? NMI is the only trade association focused on the development of the UK and Irish Electronics Systems, Microelectronics and Semiconductor communities. There are many tangible and intangible benefits to NMI membership, such as having a dedicated champion ensuring that we are seen and heard. And there is so much more including: • Representation to Government, legislators and policy makers • Access to education and training activities • Access to our tailored R&D service • Membership and attendance of all NMI operated Innovation, Technical and Excellence Networks (no additional fees) • Attendance at all Business Networks (no additional fees) • Access to qualifying Best Practice Forums • Access to the Members Area of our website which includes materials from networks, surveys and reports

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

• Global publicity and marketing opportunities • Access to NMI’s extensive knowledge resources • Access to NMI’s Legal Advice Helpline • Access to NMI’s brokering and signposting services • NMI’s regular monthly bulletins and quarterly newsletters • Administration of emissions monitoring enabling qualifying companies to benefit from the Climate Change Levy Rebate. • Preferential rates at NMI-operated conferences • Preferential rates for advertising, sponsorship and exhibiting • Discounts at partner events We find that members who actively participate derive the greatest value from their membership.


Key Facts: UK Electronics Skills Foundation Scholarships At the heart of the programme is the UKESF Scholarship Scheme, which links companies with the most talented undergraduates from seven leading universities. The scholarships last for the duration of the scholar’s B. Eng/M. Eng degree course and students receive an annual bursary, paid summer work placements, industrial mentoring and professional development training at the UKESF Summer Workshops. UKESF also assists in securing employment for electronic engineering graduates at the end of the degree course by helping to place graduates, with scholarships, with suitable employers. Summer Workshops These residential courses are delivered in collaboration with the SEMTA National Skills Academy for Manufacturing and the IET and held for UKESF scholars at partner universities during the summer holidays. These workshops have been created to inform and inspire the scholars and provide professional development training sessions that complement


undergraduate degree learning. The first such course was held in September and included a visit to McLaren Electronics Systems and presentations from Indro Mukerjee, UKESF Chairman, ARM CEO, Warren East and Imagination Technologies’ VP of Marketing, Tony King-Smith. Summer Schools The Summer Schools seek to encourage talented Year 12 (lower 6th) pupils studying maths and physics at A-Level to make the first steps towards a career in electronics. The inaugural course took place in July at Bristol University and highlights included exciting visits to research facilities and to the Diamond Light Source particle acceleration facility. Engagement with schools UKESF is working with nationally recognised organisations, such as the Engineering Development Trust, that link science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) employers with school pupils. We plan to create a network of ‘Champions for Engagement’ from employers already working with schools, and will give support to employers wishing to become involved in this, providing materials to help them more easily engage with schools.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Electronic Systems from others in our community; and by using the mandate you entrust in us, representing your wishes and concerns to Government and other policy makers. At this level our mission today is the same as it was yesterday ... However there has never been a domain in human history that changes as much and as quickly as the electronic-based one ‘we’ have created. The simplest valve radios appeared around a hundred years ago and just fifty years later the discrete transistor was replacing it in commercial products. But it was the integrated circuit exploding onto the scene in the late 1960s which started the flood of new consumer products, many of which had simply not been possible before. It started the ‘electronics revolution’ that continues to this day; giving us all exciting careers and great business opportunities; whilst delivering huge value to society at large. Ian Phillips Principal Staff Engineer, ARM

Semiconductors, Microelectronics and Electronic Systems: Why “Together We’re Better” In 2011 the NMI, instructed by its Board of Directors, announced an expansion of its remit to open membership to companies involved in Electronics Systems. In this article, Prof. Ian Phillips gives a personal account of why he sees it as a natural progression for NMI and what’s in it for existing and new members. NMI’s role has always been to deliver personal value to you, through the catalysis of noncompetitive domain knowledge and experience


So today electronics is everywhere; but like sand, whilst it holds up the very walls of our society, it has lost its individual value! As we have striven to make technology less intrusive in our products, we have at each baby-step, taken away its public identity. What is out of sight; is out of mind. Today’s people buy functionality: The “where” and the “how” is unimportant; it’s the “what” that matters! They buy tangible products like Phones, TVs, Cameras, PCs, Lights, Cars, White-Goods, etc; but also intangible ones like Security, Food/ Water, Money, Jobs, Transport, Reliability, Environment, Safety and so on. The technology behind all of which has disappeared from public perception.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

So in some ways what ‘we’ do hasn’t really changed in this time either; we are still designing circuits with transistors. However those circuits have grown from 2 (two) to 20 billion on a ‘chip’, and not surprisingly, what can be done with them has also changed a lot. With two transistors applications were more or less limited to the super-alpha pair, the cascode and a local oscillator/mixer pair; but that was enough to allow transistors to replace valves and truly enable portable radio. By the time we got to 16 transistors it enabled the majority of the 74 series logic devices and the first transistor based computers. By a thousand transistors (LSI!), it was push-button telephones, pocket calculators, digital watches; digital memory and the first super computers. The pattern of doubling transistors every 12-18mth was established; an exponential growth rate ... exceeded only by the higher order growth of their applications! And through the increased deployment of ever more sophisticated Electronic Systems every delivered function or service was superior to its predecessors. “Electronic Systems is a new flag beneath which we can all gather and in whose shadow we will flourish.” Whilst these Electronic Systems undoubtedly depend on the monolithic transistor, there are now many new high-order skills and disciplines involved throughout their creation, reproduction, installation, configuration and maintenance. And whilst in no way undervaluing the skills involved in producing ever smaller transistors in ever increasing quantities; these additional roles face technical challenges which are just as great and make a contribution just as significant, in delivering that final product functionality ... whose sale ultimately ‘pays’ for all of us. Today’s Electronic Systems are

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

the result of multi-discipline, trans-national, team-working and tomorrows pervasive Smart Electronic Systems will be even more so; accordingly the NMI Board & Management believe that we can now offer the greatest valuable opportunities to you and all of our members by improving the networking of those parts of this wider community that are in the UK. Bring the technology researchers together with the manufacturers; the software developers with the chip developers; the system companies with the PCB manufacturers; the developers with their customers; etc. As well as the business people to understand aspects of 21c innovative business models, legal issues, finance and international operation. Whilst NMI has an overtly UK focus, we are not insular. We specifically recognise the roles and value the UK operations of international businesses, and recognise the needs for all of our businesses to operate in international markets. We also recognise the important role of Research communities in establishing the Technologies and Capabilities that our businesses will need to maintain their growth. ... Presently we divide ourselves in many arbitrary directions. Some around longstanding traditions of our own making (HW, SW, etc) and some institutional (SIC Codes, Academia, etc). Some the result of being embedded in businesses with ‘Foreign’ owners; or business’s with a higher-level or service product (Logistics, Aeronautics, Defence, Telecoms, IT, etc). Some through association with the demise of long gone UK manufacturing industries; or with different business models which do not align with those of a simpler, nonglobalised, era (Fabless, Chipless, IP, etc). Fragmentation to this degree is not constructive to the wellbeing of this UK community; and yet by all accounts, we are doing quite well in our global markets ... Just think how much better could we be!


So Electronic Systems is a new flag beneath which we can all gather and in whose shadow we will flourish. If you are involved in science, technology, products or services which contribute to their creation, then you know you are part of this community. But equally important for our success, Electronic Systems encapsulates a level of ‘technology’ whose significance can be expressed to the consumer at large; our ultimate customers. It is a label by which we can illustrate the importance of our technologies to society; and through its context, the significance of our many and varied roles within them. Of course there are other terms in common use across this space like IT, ICT, Manufacturing, Computer, Embedded, (Micro)Electronic, Transport, Aeronautics, Logistics, Security and Space; but none so accurately bounds the domain that we are trying to encourage here in the UK. No doubt by now you will understand why NMI is already the Industry Association for all those operations in the UK who make their business within the life-cycle of Electronic Systems; we just have to recognise it. And how through natural evolution of our networking, facilitating and representing activities, we will significantly enable development of this already globally successful, but largely invisible UK community.

Author Biography Ian is Principal Staff Engineer at ARM Ltd of Cambridge, where his role is to nurture strategic technology and opportunities until their business value can be quantified. Apprenticed in electronics 1965-69, he graduated from University of Wales - Swansea, in 1975. He went on to work for Pye-TMC, Philips, Plessey, GEC and Mitel before joining ARM in 1998. As an electronic designer he gained wide experience of design and manufacture as the microelectronic/microelectronic system technologies evolved through this most exhilarating period. His role is very outward facing and he is involved with many European Research Universities, Institutions and Government Bodies, as both advisor and technology scout. He is a frequent presenter on many European stages; an advocate of improved University/Industry relationships; Visiting Professor at the Universities of Liverpool and Plymouth; and the winner of the 2008 NMI award for his personal Contribution to Industry.

So please, take a closer look through these pages and the NMI website to see what’s going on. But I’m not asking you to get involved ... I am asking you to grasp the opportunity that we are presenting for you to help yourself. You see; together we really are better!


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Semiconductor Manufacturing This year, we have three quite different perspectives from some seasoned semiconductor manufacturing executives. First, Tim Monaghan, Head of UK Operations at Diodes Incorporated in Manchester discusses the future of manufacturing in the UK, presenting us with some interesting comparisons. Second, is a transcript of an interview with Bob Butler, Director of Semiconductor Operations, Bourns ltd, in Bedford who retires from the industry this year after 27 years in the sector. Finally, Allan Rankin, VP and General Manager of IR Newport discusses their own particular market and the challenges of manufacturing in Wales and the UK. Growing Manufacturing Beyond the Niche, Tim Monaghan, Head of UK Operations at Diodes Incorporated, Oldham, Manchester. While walking round Chester Zoo with my son, admiring all the remarkable adaptations creatures make to survive, it occurred to me that it may be inevitable that not too long from now I will be behind the glass too! “What’s that dad?” “That my son is a Manufacturing Manager. You can tell by the way he has organised his enclosure into a flow line and his food is all in Kan Ban squares! They were perfectly adapted to their environment for many years. But then the climate changed. Now you can’t find any in the wild in the UK. “

Tim Monaghan Head of UK Operations at Diodes Incorporated

Up until 2008 making stuff was so out of fashion you may as well have gone the whole hog and taken up Brunel’s Stove Pipe Hat and Cigar. But now suddenly the rhetoric has changed to “supporting growth” and barriers are allegedly being knocked down in a concerted effort to rebalance the economy. So are the UK Fabs benefitting from this nascent manufacturing renaissance? Of course it is far too soon to tell, the best we could say is that there are positive signs. My own organisation, Diodes UK has grown dramatically in the last 2 years. We have managed to link the knowledge based “niche” mentality of the Zetex brand to the growth strategy of a new aggressive corporate parent.

“He looks sad!”


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Over $20M has been invested into the UK manufacturing organisation trebling output capacity. The key to winning this investment has been to market the knowledge embedded in the site, linking innovation and manufacturing, and our ability to rapidly deploy it where opportunities arise. There is no doubt that we, in line with many UK Fabs, have engineers as good as any in the world. That knowledge counts, but to really count it has to be allied to growth and thus unit cost. A more supportive policy towards industry in the UK would certainly help us to maintain our momentum and convince a sceptical international Exec Board that the UK wants to compete globally. It would also mean more confidence to plan for a long term future in the UK. The retention of the Climate Change Levy Rebate has been one small positive to emerge thanks to lobbying across many industries (including by our own trade association: NMI) however basic energy costs continue to rise. It’s hard to explain a 15% cost increase in energy when your sister fab on another continent already has half the price/KWh. How the balance is struck between “greening up” the economy and the need to support industries like ours will be indicative of the commitment behind the rhetoric. Recent reports of an increase in science & engineering entry to universities are again positive although Prof Brian Cox seems to be receiving most of the credit on this one. We do our part in collaborating with schools, colleges & universities to make semiconductors an exciting option. Again I endorse the work being done by NMI amongst others to promote a future supply of talent.

But if there is a serious desire to make the renewal last then the main ingredient is belief, a determination to dominate sectors of the industry in the face of all competition. Niche strategies too often mean nothing more than an organised retreat in the face of commoditisation. Belief gives the confidence to grow scale, it gives confidence for the future, and it builds morale so speeding up activity. If there has been a single vital element to the improved fortunes Diodes UK has enjoyed recently it has been building and reinforcing that belief that we will succeed with or without a supportive environment. If we can build that same kind of optimism across the whole fab community then we can take inspiration from sites like IR and National that have shown we are capable of growing even from what is a very low base. Manufacturing being back in vogue is an essential start on that road but it will need several years’ action on subjects like, cost of energy, funding scientific education and keeping the pound under control to convert rhetoric to reality. The stock manufacturing answer to “what help do you need?” is “none just keep out of my way!” Some businesses will succeed no matter what; we intend to be one of those. But the evidence in the UK is compelling that a commitment to offering a helping hand along the way would increase that success rate exponentially. And convert a lot of niche SME’s into large global enterprises. But if I’m wrong don’t forget to look me up in a few years. I’ll be organising my 5S audit in between the Macaque and the Mongoose. It’s a great day out at the Zoo!

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


Interview with Bob Butler, Director of Semiconductor Operations Bourns Ltd, Bedford, England.

to manage and manufacture these products and was responsible for marketing the products all over the world.

First some history…

Initially, the business manufactured and marketed general purpose or commodity Power devices for power supplies, amplifiers, speed controls etc. In the middle 80’s as these products became more readily available worldwide and product margins fell, the business went through a significant period of retrenchment with major reductions in R&D and new product development to maximise profitability from the existing commodity product range. The business then developed another product range, Secondary protection devices for the Telecommunications market.

Bob Butler Director of Semiconductor Operations Bourns Ltd

When did you start at the Bedford site ? I was originally employed by Texas Instruments in their assembly site in Plymouth in 1984, this was a relatively small site and was eventually closed in 1987. I was one of a handful of employees that TI wanted to retain and was offered a Manufacturing Supervisors position in their Power Wafer Fab in Bedford, in 1992 I became the Wafer Fab Production Manager. What’s the history of the Bedford site? The Bedford site was built in 1962 by Texas Instruments who moved their Power Wafer Fab from Dallas to Bedford. The Power business in Bedford was an unusual business group within TI, in that it was a complete unit in one location, marketing, applications, R&D, engineering, planning, logistics, and the manufacturing wafer fab. It was the sole facility in TI world-wide


In the early 90’s the Management team was given a goal of turning around the Strategic Prospects of the business and reaching model profitability or .............. Through a number of initiatives, from organisational changes to customer interviews, the team introduced more new products and over a 6 year period grew the strategic products revenue 35% to 85% of total revenue. Although the business had been transformed from a loss making excessively commodity based business into a profitable business with several strategic growth areas, TI did not regard Power Semiconductor devices as Strategic to its long term growth plan. As a result they took the decision to divest this business. This then led to a Management Buy-out that was finalised in 1997. This in turn 3 years later in 2000 led to the business being acquired by its current owners Bourns Inc. based in Riverside California. What products are made there now?

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

The prime thrust is with the secondary over voltage protection products serving the telecommunications central office, private branch exchange and residential telecommunications equipment market. These devices provide secondary protection to the line cards (electronic switches which route the calls) which interface the exchange to the local loop, the wires between the exchange and the subscriber. These transient protectors protect the line cards low voltage electronics from momentary high voltages induced in the local loop by lightning or other over voltage condition. Your site has clearly been successful, what factors do you think have been key influences? After the acquisition by Bourns, we went through the 2001 recession, which clearly took its toll. We had to look long and hard at our nonmanufacturing resource and manufacturing support groups and trim to a size that was affordable and a strong base from which to grow, ensuring that we maintained this base as we grew back into profitability by ensuring we made full effective use of the team. Cost control is paramount. We had a strategy to improve efficiencies through investment and converting wafer size with equipment that could eventually be convertible to the next size, this was achieved over a 4 year period, including building 2 new clean room facilities. We are seen as a Technology leader and have developed a niche market in one of growing technology. One of the key influences is the people, we now have a very good lean team throughout the business. All manufacturing personnel have been trained and have attained a national qualification (NVQ level 2) in Business Improvement Techniques. We hold short,

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

weekly, communication sessions with all groups to ensure consistency of the communication. We have created a highly multi-skilled and flexible workforce. What have been the biggest changes in the business environment over your career? • Ease of communications – there is no escaping it, it’s 24hrs a day • Technology growth in developing regions • Changes in employment legislation • Health and Safety and Environmental impact • Costs of waste disposal • Energy costs in the UK • Growth of telecoms and the internet  • The move to China / Asia of most of the equipment manufacturers , assemblies etc.  What do you see as the key challenges for the future of UK manufacturing?  • Controlling Costs is key with particular difficulties in –– increase in raw materials –– energy prices –– global economic slowdown • Quality & delivery • Succession planning & Resource pool of staff How can UK based sites now compete? What are the key areas which make a difference? • Being Cost competitive will always be important • Product differentiation • Supply chain management efficiency • Multi-skilled, multi-tasking crucial, (including office and support functions) • Improvements in productivity • Investment and planning


IR’s perspective on Manufacturing in the UK - Allan Rankin, VP and General Manager, International Rectifier, Newport, Wales IR Corporation had a successful 2011 fiscal year which was reported on August 17, 2011. As the report indicated, IR is increasing capacity in its internal factories and investing in technology development. Newport is particularly well placed to take advantage of these investments and last year we again saw strong growth at the site. Newport is one of the most advanced front-end wafer fabs within IR and has seen an increase in volume as the company has grown. From a local perspective we are satisfied with the level of contribution IR has made to the economy of South Wales both in terms of job creation and supporting local companies. Very recently our contribution to the Welsh economy was recognised when we were awarded ANCHOR status by the Welsh Government. This will further forge the relationship we have with our partners in Cardiff. Our customers take quality and delivery performance as a given and although the site has made investment in these areas during 2011, to remain competitive the two significant challenges for this site are cost and technology to market as more and more companies offer a Power Management portfolio. From consolidation of large IDM’s, start-ups in Asia and pure play foundries, many competitors have a watchful eye on power management market growth.


The NMI has supported the micro-electronics sector well over the last couple of decades but we only have to look at the current landscape of our industry to reflect on how we as a sector have changed. From a manufacturing perspective, NMI must support at both Government and grass roots levels. The mainstay of long term success at Newport will be to remain competitive in two areas: cost and technology. The spiralling costs of energy are a real threat to the manufacturing sector, particularly for companies that operate a facility the size of IR Newport. Additionally, we need a continuous feed of technically competent employees from school leavers to postgraduates. In Conclusion Although all of these senior individuals have their own unique views, they have highlighted the fact that manufacturing companies’ can both survive and thrive in the UK… it’s just not that easy to do so! And that may not be bad; it means that those that are here are the best. They recognise the changes in the economic landscape and they adapt their business models to survive. They push constantly for cost controls, whilst at the same time developing new capabilities and products through investment in their people. They communicate effectively, they dominate niche markets and they put up with costs that would cripple other overseas “ world class” companies. So the real question, and one the politicians need to get to grips with is : where would UK manufacturing be if there was a global level playing field? We all wish Bob a happy retirement; it’s been a real pleasure working with him over the years.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

europe Providing a European pathway from prototype to mass production Package Design and Review

Prototype and Evaluation

Qualification and Reliability

Pre-Mass Production and Test Development Mass Production Transfer to Unisem Volume Sites

Unisem Europe Parkway, Pen-y-Fan Industrial Estate Croespenmaen, Crumlin Gwent South Wales, United Kingdom, NP11 3XT Phone: 44 (0)1495 244 111 Fax: 44 (0)1495 244 828





Research & Development More than money - helping you build a sustainable business through R&D. Innovation is about developing know-how and exploiting it to make money. It is central to the growth of our industry and relevant to all NMI members. However, it’s easier said than done! It’s a constant challenge being strategic in difficult market conditions. How do you engage in R&D in a way that minimises wasted time and effort, and maximises business growth? And when public or private sector support is needed, we are often not recognised as an innovative and powerful economic force. NMI has created a new role to help remove your barriers to innovation. Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) Policy support is about helping to promote and grow the Electronic Systems industry. It’s about helping you to make R&D a central part of your strategic business growth in a way that is tailored to your needs. The outcomes we aim to deliver are: • Providing you with expert support to help you through the maze of potential sources of public and private funding • Help build a better integrated and connected Electronic Systems R&D&I Community including industry, academia and public bodies • Build the ability & mandate to articulate and quantify the needs and opportunities for the sector We will be working on your behalf to make sure that our industry is recognised as important and innovative at a regional, national and European level. Funding, recognition and


political support of specific research and innovation activities is primarily based on economic evidence put forward in a clear and coordinated way. If done well, it can become a virtuous circle: by communicating industrial needs well, funding becomes more readily available that meets those needs, which in turn increases industrial engagement, which makes the public sector understand industry needs more, and so on. However, it needs significant, professional, and never-ending leg-work. Some sectors, such as Aerospace and Construction are very successful in achieving this. We can do the same.

Funding Calls

Industry Engagement


Industry Needs

The concept of Electronic Systems is easy to grasp and relatively simple to communicate. By working together, NMI is already recognised as the voice of the industry to government. For example, we have been asked this year by the UK government to provide a report on the needs of our industry. Our focus now is to use our influence to remove the barriers to innovation by putting across a clear and consistent message at all times and at all levels.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

To make the most of this, we can also guide you through the why, who, what and how of engaging in public-sector related and/or collaborative R&D activities. It is a resource to help you build up the know-how needed to take part in the best R&D activity that suits your business needs. Crucially, we can work with you on the ‘why’ of participating. Public funding for even the largest projects is relatively small compared to a companies’ R&D expenditure. If it’s direct capital you need, there are easier ways to get the cash! Collaborative R&D participation is not about the grant money. It’s about how you leverage it though the partnerships you create, the IP and products you develop, and the skills you nurture. We will work with you to help understand your needs through a simple ‘diagnostic’ approach, and start working with you to identify the next steps. Many will testify that finding the right partners is the most difficult element of collaboration. Most R&D partnerships are long-term business relationships that carry out top quality work. Partnerships should be built up in a strategic and controlled way, avoiding last minute ‘blind’ brokering. We will work with you to identify the ‘who’, building out from our networks and our relationships with the UK and European research base. We will work closely with the likes of the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks, European Technology Platforms to make sure you are tied in with the right organisations and networks.

undiminished. The problem is navigating through the maze of schemes, organisations and programmes to find the support that is aligned to your business needs. Critically, and often overlooked, you have to find funding sources where the budget holders see your projects and ideas as a good fit to the goals of their programme! The money is always there for a good economic reason – you must understand what it is. We will help you to understand the ‘what’ of public, and private, sector support for innovation. We will map out what is there and, just as importantly, why it is there and how it does or doesn’t fit your business. Then there’s the ‘how’. Participating in publicly funded research projects in particular is a skill in itself. The application for, and the participation in, projects is often very different to the way you go about business in a purely internal research project. We will seek to help you build the know-how you need, whether it be from the basics of project or proposal construction to understanding the financial costing, structure and requirements. For example, it’s often overlooked that work carried out on European collaborative research projects can still be eligible for R&D tax credits. The ‘where’ and ‘when’- the engagement in projects, schemes and proposals - is entirely up to you. The aim is to equip you with the right knowledge and connections to make informed and strategic business decisions. So, NMI is here to help you grow your R&D capability in a sustainable way that is tailored to your specific needs. If you’d like to make the most of this opportunity please contact us. As with everything we do, we’re ready and able to help!

Despite general cuts in the public sector, support at local, national and european levels for industrial innovation remains largely

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


Software The software drained my battery Has downloading and running the latest applications also drained your smartphone's battery? In this article we look at the great potential of making software engineering more energy aware. We start at the hardware. In recent years, hardware designers have become very good at low power design. Multiple voltage domains, clock gating, dynamic frequency scaling and a host of other techniques have helped reduce power consumption. It is a never ending battle as dimensions shrink to just tens of atoms, and leakage becomes an ever more pressing problem. For a long time, energy efficiency has been seen as a hardware problem. Yet software can undo all the design efficiency at a stroke. Famously a Linux implementation wasted 70-90% of its power, simply because a blinking cursor woke up the entire system several times a second [1]. One of the authors (Bennett) was involved in a commercial project, where the design team found they had to increase clock frequency (and hence power consumption) three-fold because a standard audio codec caused excessive processor stalls through cache conflicts. That project was canceled shortly afterwards. There are three main factors contributing to power loss: • static leakage—mitigated by reducing voltage; • dynamic leakage—mitigated by reducing

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

frequency and switching; and • number of components—mitigated through smaller, simpler silicon and less memory. Note in particular that reducing voltage is a quadratic gain, and that reducing frequency is a double gain because it also allows voltage to be reduced. With chip voltages ranging from 0.6V to 1.5V, there is the potential of 10x gain to be had. “Yet software can undo all the design efficiency at a stroke” How to tackle energy efficiency at a system level has been known for well over a decade. In their 1997 paper [2], Roy and Johnson summed up how to align software design decisions with energy efficiency as a design goal. Their key steps are (in the given order): • choose the best algorithm to fit the hardware; • manage memory size and memory access through algorithm tuning; • optimize for performance, making best use of parallelism; • use hardware support for power management; and • generate code that minimizes switching in the CPU and data path. Seeing that this understanding already existed back in 1997, it is perhaps surprising to see that no major advances have been made since then. Much of the current literature is focused on advancing one or several of the above steps with marginal returns. In the context of multi-


threaded software running on multi-core hardware many of these approaches no longer work. A step change is needed to push technology towards the 10x improvements that result in a noticeable difference in practice. This requires a fundamental re-evaluation of system design methods in the context of energy efficiency. Traditionally, researchers and engineers work within one or perhaps two layers of the system stack with very limited overlap, e.g. software engineers, computer architects or hardware designers. However, energy-aware computing is a challenge that requires investigating the entire system stack from application software and algorithms, via programming languages, compilers, instruction sets and micro architectures, through to the design and manufacture of the hardware. In 2010 Mentor Graphics and LSI Logic identified that, while optimization at synthesis level could potentially save 5% power, optimization at architectural level could save 80%. But even then they did not consider the potential for savings even further up in the compiler, programming languages and software. An updated version of their graph might look like this:

After Mentor Graphics and LSI Logic 2010


This is because energy is consumed by the hardware performing computations, but the control over the computation ultimately lies within the software and algorithms, i.e. the applications running on the hardware. Industry is waking up at last to the fact that, while hardware can be designed to save a modest amount of energy, the potential for savings is far greater at the higher levels of abstraction in the system stack [3]. The greatest savings are expected from energyconsumption-aware software. Addressing the challenge of energy-aware computing requires collaboration between engineers and researchers from all the above named areas and a good understanding of the applications that will drive software and hardware development in the future. Any engineering team must work together across hardware and software disciplines to address energy issues throughout the entire system stack. • Synthesis/RTL. This comes late in the process, and power estimation tools while accurate are fabulously slow (weeks to run for a big chip). • Functional block level. Tools like Wattch [4] offer architectural power estimation that runs 1000x faster than synthesis tools, yet is accurate to within 10% of layout level estimation tools. • Instruction Set Architecture. Minimizing the Hamming distance between pairs of instructions, and partitioning register files are clear wins here. • Compiler. Profile directed optimization is essential to be able to take advantage of both models of hardware power and (once silicon is available) measurements of power. The EU funded MILEPOST project [5], in which the UK was a big player offers an ideal framework for this.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

• Programming languages. Annotations to specify power consumption budgets during programming need to become integrated parts of new programming languages, which will be dedicated to giving programmers full control over software power consumption. Additionally, programmers may decide to trade accuracy for power by utilizing advanced approximate data types [6] that take advantage of new optimizations in hardware [7]. • Algorithms and applications. The tool chain must allow early design space exploration. In the first instance a programmer must get a report on the power consumption of the program they write. Longer term, the tools should be able to optimize for power, just as today they optimize for time and/or space. In summary, there is huge potential for power savings when looking at the entire system stack, especially at the higher levels. To unlock this potential, energy efficiency must be promoted to a first class system design goal. We can identify some key steps to achieve this: • We need to bridge the gap between hardware and software design. This requires a change of culture in engineering teams and tool providers. • New tools are required. Initially to communicate power consumption to developers, especially software engineers.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Later, to automatically optimize so that the specified power budgets are being met. Tool providers will play a key role in bridging the hardware-software gap. • Education and training of engineers will need extending. Just as today a hardware designer knows how to optimize for area, performance or power, future software engineers will need to work in a multidimensional design space that includes power in addition to traditional software design metrics such as memory usage and performance. • A critical part to drive this forward is raising end user awareness. If end users made nonfunctional requirements such as energy budgets part of the specification for an application, then engineers would need to design to meet these expectations from the start. Making system design more energy efficient is a considerable challenge for both the engineering and the research community. This challenge calls for collaboration across the board. We have a long way to go. So, next time the software drains your battery, you know we've still not quite made it. When we can select from new apps based on their energy rating, similar to the way we buy light bulbs or white goods today, and when smartphones don't need recharging for weeks, then we'll be almost there.


References [1]. E. Sperling and P. Chatterjee. 16 June, 2011. The Tao of Software. Chip Design Magazine Low Power Engineering online community blog post. [2]. K. Roy and M.C. Johnson. 1997. Software design for low power. In W. Nebel and J. Mermet (Eds.) Low power design in deep submicron electronics. Kluwer Nato Advanced Science Institutes Series, Vol. 337, Norwell, MA, USA, pp 433-460. [3]. Chris Edwards. 15-21 June, 2011. Lack of software support marks the low power scorecard at DAC. Electronics Weekly.

[4]. D. Brooks, V. Tiwari, M. Martonosi, “Wattch: A framework for architecture-level power analysis and optimizations,” Proc. 27th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), pp. 83-94, 2000. [5]. Fursin et al. MILEPOST GCC: Machine learning based research compiler. GCC Summit, Ottawa, Canada, 2008. [6]. A. Sampson, W. Dietl, E. Fortuna, D. Gnanapragasam, L. Ceze and D. Grossman, “EnerJ: Approximate Data Types for Safe and General Low-Power Computation” In Proc. of PLDI, June 2011. [7]. J.Y.F. Tong, D. Nagle and R.A. Rutenbar, Reducing Power by Optimizing the Necessary Precision/ Range of Floating-Point Arithmetic. IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, 8(3), pp 273-286, June 2000.

About the Authors

Dr Jeremy Bennett is Chief Executive of Embecosm Limited. Embecosm (www. provides open source services, tools and models to facilitate embedded software development with complex systems-on-chip. Contact him at


Dr Kerstin Eder is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, specializing in Design Verification. During 2011 she has been on a Royal Academy of Engineering funded Fellowship at XMOS in Bristol, investigating “State of the Art Power-Aware System Design”. She gratefully acknowledges the support of both the RAE and XMOS in carrying out the work described here. Contact her at

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

SWINDON SILICON SYSTEMS A NEW Approach to ASIC Design How SWINDON Silicon Systems has developed a partnership process for the best mutual outcome. SWINDON Silicon Systems (SWINDON) is a market leader in the design and supply of high performance custom analogue and mixed signal ASIC solutions.w As the UK’s leading specialist supplier, SWINDON offers unparalleled commercial and technical know how which enables our customers to be leaders within their chosen sphere. Utilising SWINDON’s high quality, system enhancing solutions ensures that the competition is beaten both on price and performance. At SWINDON we are able to offer a partnership route to all our customers that starts with an agreed fixed development cost and unit price along with a project plan that enables our customers to accurately budget from project inception to the supply of production ASICs. Our design philosophy is innovative, efficient and pragmatic with a combined experience of over 350 design man years. This technical know how, coupled with our market leading quality and supply chain solutions: including a high volume in house test facility ensures highly technical solutions delivered on time, every time. Tel; 01793 649400 Email;


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Semiconductor Suppliers The NMI Supplier Group contains a wide variety of organisations. They range from the very small to the very large. Perhaps, surprisingly, they do not in themselves represent a well-defined industrial sector. Some of them only supply to the semiconductor marketplace, whilst others service sectors that include: semiconductor, nuclear, medical, pharmaceutical, beverage, MEMS, photovoltaic etc.. Their one common feature is that they all supply products or services to hi-tech companies. In the remainder of this article, three Supplier Group members give their perspective of the current economic and business situation. These firms represent small, medium and large organisations and all of them are heavily involved in supplying semiconductor wafer fabrication plants. First we shall have a view from Brad Connor of Savantech, then Gordon Whyte of Multi-lab QuartzTec and, finally, John Harries, from the Ultra Pure Chemical division of the OMGroup. SAVANTECH Savantech is perhaps an unusual member of the NMI supplier community, in that its focus is very much on the software side of semiconductor manufacturing, rather than hardware. The company, formed in 2005, specialises in the development and support of factory automation software systems, integrating the manufacturing tools into fablevel systems to bring benefits such as scrap reduction and data-driven process improvement.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Over the past 20 years, the factory automation software marketplace has gone through several major changes. What was an extremely hightech – and commensurately expensive – investment for wafer fabs in the 1990s has become a much more mainstream, wellunderstood industry sector with proven benefits and ROI. Many of the ‘major’ suppliers have attempted to preserve revenue streams by re-focussing on higher-level functionality, such as data-heavy Advanced Process Control systems, of which equipment integration is only a small part. In doing so, however, they have arguably left a vacuum into which both existing automation users and smaller, nonintegrated fabs – for whom the technology should have reached a feasible price point – now find themselves. An additional shift in geographical focus away from the UK, Europe – and, to a lesser extent, the US – towards Asia, ‘chasing the big bucks’, has left many high and dry. It has also left a marketplace that smaller suppliers can now exploit if they have the right product and can move quickly enough. There are still significant challenges, of course, to successfully operating in this marketplace. In Europe, it is clear that Dresden is rapidly becoming the major “hub” for semi manufacturing, not least due to the efforts of SEMI Europe, whose management is unashamedly pro-Saxony. The only viable contender for the crown is the Grenoble area. For better or worse, the attitude of many in the industry is profoundly protectionist and, as has been said before, the European industry is relationship-centric; the result being that any company that does not have a physical presence in Saxony is already on the back foot.


So how is Savantech addressing these challenges and planning for future growth? Firstly, the company took advantage of the 2009 downturn to invest heavily in the development of the most technologically advanced solution in the market, CoreTegral (CT), which was launched at Semicon West 2010. CT has already made inroads into UK industry and feedback has been excellent. Secondly, as a small company of limited manpower ‘in the wrong place’, it has been proactively building relationships with implementation partners who are already located in the Saxony hub and who have great connections there. Strategically, the partner is also building an Asian presence; for a service company, local time zone support is crucial. Thirdly, Savantech has raised its sights to include the US market, and is availing itself of the excellent GlobalScot service to plan and implement a strategy to make inroads into a market that is also suffering from Asia drain, and that is already very Scot-friendly. Finally, and very importantly, Savantech continues to avail itself of the NMI’s supplier group’s services, which not only dramatically reduce the cost of getting in front of customers, but whose reputation and networks provide a steady stream of new opportunities and potential routes to market.

background that our manufacturing staff and infrastructure is all ex-Heraeus quartz.


Ironically, with so many unemployed within the UK, one of the major obstacles to growth is finding and nurturing skilled labour. To train a glassblower to a level where they are highly productive can take 3 -5 years. Over the past decade, the amounts of skilled glassblowers within Europe has declined substantially as large companies, such as Heraeus, have reduced their exposure to quartz fabrication and closed multiple sites. Also, until recently, the Semiconductor industry absorbed the lion’s share of fabricated quartz glass produced globally. However, the growth of Photovoltaics,

Multi-lab, as a brand name, is relatively new within the mainstream Semiconductor industry, so developing the brand awareness has been a key factor in maintaining and growing our business. The Semi market are all well versed with the brand name of the former owner of our East Kilbride facility, Heraeus Quartz, as they are globally recognised as one of the key players, with some of the best trained glassblowing staff in the world. It was important to ensure the market understood our


Although we have benefited from buoyant markets over the last year, in particular within Photovoltaics, the difficulties we have faced have been diverse. The main problem has been quartz glass raw material lead-times that, at times, have exceeded 36 weeks! Trying to grow our business within mainland Europe with such lead-times has been challenging. However, Multi-lab as a company has been very successful and through good strategic planning and leadership we have seen our sales grow in excess of 30% over the last 12 months alone. Growth, through technology centred product development as well as geographical market expansion is very important to our future. The challenges facing the quartz fabrication sector Quartz glass as a material has been a mainstay of the Semiconductor industry since its infancy and remains a critical part of chip production. SiC, silicon, sapphire and other materials are entering the market as an alternative, but cost will remain a factor in their growth for the foreseeable future.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

LCD’s and the re-emergence of the optical fibre industry have taken a large chunk of the available capacity. The excessive lead times of the last 12-18 months have been testament to the growth of these other industries. Although the Photovoltaic industry has recently seen a decline the growth potential remains such that it could quickly rebound and yet again put excessive demands on both raw material supply and quartz fabrication capacity. To meet these challenges Multi-lab as a company understands the importance of maintaining strong ties with our quartz raw material suppliers and also the need to hire and train new glass blowers. We are actively working on traineeships to develop a “production line” of new glass blowers to meet the current and future demands of our customers. We are also nurturing strategic alliances with other fabricators and service providers to further enhance our product portfolio, which we feel is important to develop our business. Current economic factors will no doubt be influential in how the Semiconductor and other industries grow in the short to medium term, however Multi-lab as a company have a unique skill base which we will continue to develop. We will maintain our strategy of exploring other markets, but our ‘bread and butter ‘ will always remain within the Semiconductor industry. We believe that, for the near future, a mismatch between supply and demand for fabricated quartz glass will continue. On the supply side, we are responding to this tension. Our hope is that chip producers are doing the same by maintaining a strong dialogue with the quartz fabrication sector and by focussing on good forward planning.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

OM GROUP To date, 2011 has been a good year for OM Group Ultra Pure Chemicals, with strong sales both for the UK and Continental Europe. Our chemical products are being consumed by customers spanning a number of industries that include: Semiconductors, Photomask, Photovoltaic/Solar and Plastic Electronics. Customer demand is forecast to remain strong to year end. Entering 2012, our crystal ball has broken and spares are difficult to locate. Nevertheless, we are continuing to invest in our future by developing improved products for existing customers, as well as exploring completely new areas of the marketplace. An example of one of our focus areas is copper technology, where we are in the process of registering a trademark for a new range of chemistries. The OMniCu range meets the technology requirements of Copper plating for Redistribution, MEM’s, Bumping , Damascene , Through Silicon Via and wet etch chemistry applications. To further enhance this product range, significant investment has been undertaken with the creation of a dedicated Copper Applications lab in Singapore and a manufacturing unit at our St Fromond site in France. The Singapore facility has all the necessary test equipment to support customer demos, together with two plating tools - an 8 cup Semitool Raider copper production plating tool and a manual RENA tool- for investigative and proof of concept work. All equipment is housed in a purpose built clean room. With such a wide variety of structures that now requiring plating, there is a definite need to be able to provide a comprehensive set of ‘plug and play’ working parameters that meet customers’ needs. By


working ‘off line’ on new designs , costs can be reduced for the customer in terms of resources and downtime of production equipment. We are also involved in collaborative copper related research programmes both in Asia and Europe. In addition to the Singapore and St Fromond copper centres, OMG have personnel working on site at the Lavoisier Institute an R&D facility at Versailles , where we can access state of the art measuring tools and perform plating trials optimising additive, electrolyte compositions and develop new chemistries and processes.

Photograph of the newly acquired Copper Plating tool at the OMG Singapore facility The copper programme typifies the kind of innovative activities that OMG undertakes. It highlights the way that we see ourselves as a solution provider offering a range of services, such as: Total Chemical Management, Ship to Line, Total Process Management and Analytical services.


In developing new products and services for its existing marketplace, OMG recognises that to survive and grow it must not stand still. This philosophy extends beyond its comfort zone and has led to exploring completely new areas to grow the business. As an example, the OM Group has recently acquired an additional company Vacuumschmeltze, based in Germany, who specialise in magnetic alloy technology and it continues to look for suitable acquisitions to strengthen its global reach and manufacturing capabilities. So What? At first sight, a small software firm, a medium sized quartz fabricator and a chemical division of a large industrial group might not seem to have much in common, but clearly they do. All of them are engaged with the global marketplace, they are firms based in the UK, not constrained by the UK. All of them are balancing the need to exploit their current capabilities whilst investing money to develop new products and explore new markets. These are concrete examples of successful organisations that are overcoming the current economic climate and positioning themselves for even greater success as the global economy comes out of recession. These are some of the firms that offer much needed hope for the future of the UK economy.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Power Electronics Introduction Power Electronics is the application of solidstate electronics for the efficient control and conversion of electrical energy. It is the muscles implementing the control decisions made by digital and analogue electronics. It is a highgrowth, high-added-value and high-value per employee technology. It demands crossfunctional, multi-disciplinary teams of engineers capable of meeting the demands of complex integration challenges - a capability in which, it could be argued, the UK leads the world. However, what makes Power Electronics so attractive to UK industry also attracts others and so it is, inevitably, highly competitive. The UK Power Electronics community faces three particular issues: • The emergence of disruptive technologies which can rapidly transform sectors of the market in which the UK has existing strengths • A deep-rooted skills shortage affecting UK industry’s ability to keep pace with even incremental innovation • A lack of strategic funding inhibiting highly innovative, relatively high-risk projects and stifling the aspirations of SMEs and start-up companies. To address these threats, the UK needs a clear and co-ordinated strategy to allow industry, universities and Government to act cohesively to support one another. Recognising this, NMI has been working with and on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills


(BIS) to co-ordinate a study embracing industry, academia and government. The result is “Power Electronics: A Strategy for Success – Keeping the UK competitive” published by BIS in October 2011. It articulates a vision for a globally-competitive UK Power Electronics industry capable of providing large numbers of high-quality jobs and making a substantial contribution to the nation’s GDP. The Strategy Group, co-ordinated by NMI, is committed to driving the recommendations and actions outlined in the document. The World of Power Electronics Power Electronics can be found in very low mW levels needed to operate a mobile phone through to multi-GW powers for high-voltage energy transmission lines between countries as shown in Figure 1. Wherever there is a need to modify a form of electrical energy - i.e. change its voltage, current or frequency – then Power Electronics comes into play.

Figure 1 : Power Electronics modifies energy from milliwatts (mW) to gigawatts (GW) Power Electronics is a £70 billion direct global market, growing at a rate of 11% per annum[1]. It is an enabling technology that often determines the performance of, and provides

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

the competitive advantage for, much more expensive devices or systems. The importance of Power Electronics to the economy is consequently very much greater than its direct market value. Power Electronics is rarely seen as an end product by the general public, but it does play a critical role in almost all aspects of our daily lives. • Renewable energy and the low-carbon economy are very dependent on Power Electronics • It is responsible for ensuring the reliability and stability of the whole power-supply infrastructure, and critical to the ‘Smart Grid’ linking all generation and end use • Our transport system is ever more heavily dependent on Power Electronics, in railways, ships and increasingly cars and aeroplanes. • Our industrial processes rely upon the control and energy efficiency facilitated by Power Electronics • The environment, access and transportation within our buildings are controlled and managed using Power Electronics • And our homes are proliferated with Power Electronics - in TVs, washing machines, fridges, freezers, cookers, vacuum cleaners, computers, mobile phones and even energy-efficient lighting. Power Electronics systems are the result of hierarchies of research, design and manufacturing activities across many scientific and engineering disciplines. System design and integration skills, a competence for which the UK has world recognition, play a core role. Other important aspects include basic materials technology, component technologies, electrical engineering, analogue and digital electronics, control, sensors, thermal management,

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

mechanical engineering and reliability science. The pace of change of Power Electronics technology continues to accelerate. Advances are made through basic research at both component level and through advanced systems research. Much of this research is carried out within universities, frequently with strong industrial support and collaboration. Engagement in this innovation process is critical to all areas of the supply chain in order to remain competitive. Power Electronics and the Environment Power Electronics is critical to achieving the UK’s ambitions for a low-carbon economy. Government targets are for a 34% cut in 1990 CO2 emission levels by 2020, and a greater than 80% cut by 2050[2]. To achieve these levels will require action on many fronts, but consider the potential of Power Electronics in just one area – motor drives. Industrial electric motors as shown in Figure 2, account for more than 60% of all electrical energy consumption. Using Power Electronics control results in typically a 30-40% reduction in energy used, and could be applied in about 50% of applications[3]. In consequence, applying current Power Electronics technology in just this area would directly result in a 9% reduction in all electrical energy consumption – a significant contribution achieved at modest cost, as payback on applications tends to be months rather than several years.


Figure 2: Example of an Industrial Motor Drive courtesy of Emerson. The UK Government has also set the target of 15% of all energy generation to come from renewable sources by 2020. This will actually require a more than five-fold increase in renewable electricity generation from 2009, to more than 30% of the total[4]. We need to drastically restructure our energy portfolio to achieve this, and our electricity networks, will need to become ‘Smart Grids’– and that requires the widespread use of Power Electronics. The Market for Power Electronics In the low-carbon and renewable areas, the impact of Power Electronics is striking. The global market for low-carbon goods and services was worth £3 trillion in 2008 and is projected to grow by 50% to just under £4.5 trillion by 2015[5], the majority enabled by Power Electronics. The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates that the renewable energy sector could create 500,000 new jobs in the UK by 2020. The UK wind industry alone has the potential to create 60,000 new jobs over the course of the next ten years. This would effectively expand the workforce to well over ten times its current size.


In 2005 the US Department of Energy stated[6], “Approximately 30% of all electric power generated utilises Power Electronics somewhere between the point of generation and its end use. Most Power Electronics uses today are for improved control of loads such as variable-speed drives for motors that drive fans, pumps, and compressors or in switching power supplies found throughout most consumer products. By 2030, it is expected that perhaps as much as 80% of all electric power will use Power Electronics somewhere between generation and consumption.” Power Electronics is a global market, with major multi-national companies competing for highvolume business, with global design and manufacturing locations decided on factors such as cost and skill availability. Power Electronics in the UK Industrial companies As well as having a strong international reputation for design, the UK is the manufacturing base for 6.5% of the global Power Electronics product output, with a very high percentage being exported such as the high voltage HVDC equipment shown in Figure 3.The influence of the UK Power Electronics industry on the global market is even more significant, however, as UK-based design groups contribute strongly to equipment that is manufactured in part or in whole overseas.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Academic profile

Figure 3: HVDC high voltage equipment courtesy of Alstom Grid With expertise in both industry and universities, and with excellent educational facilities and an outstanding research infrastructure, the UK has an excellent base from which to compete and grow in the world market. Further, with Power Electronics systems tending to be applicationspecific and having a relatively high addedvalue, their manufacture is suited to a technologically-advanced manufacturing base and can absorb relatively high UK labour costs.

The UK has a significant number of world-class universities in the field of electrical energy conversion, including Power Electronics. This capability is built on the UK’s historical involvement in energy conversion. The quality of teaching at these universities is excellent, however, the number of UK students on these courses is cumulatively too low to meet industrial demand, as discussed later. The quality of Power Electronics research in UK universities also remains very high, but there is concern that the national research budgets are spread too thinly in this subject area. The UK Power Electronics Community The enabling role of Power Electronics across a broad range of application areas leads to a fragmented community. Industry-specific communities exist, notably through numerous trade associations.

The system design and manufacturing industry in the UK covers many industrial sectors, with a significant number of ‘global top 10 companies’. On the component level, semiconductor fabrication is an often-hidden UK strength, with a notable presence in some areas of power semiconductor fabrication. The UK also has a strong SME supply base in passive power components and sensors which are so critical to the Power Electronics systems companies.

So is everything in the UK Power Electronics garden rosy?

SME companies and start-ups may have problems engaging larger companies and universities when trying to build relationships and finding ways to bridge this void should be a consideration for Government-funded/driven initiatives.

UK strengths

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

In establishing the Power Electronics community view on this, four specific market sectors were considered, Transport, Consumer/ Lighting, Energy and Industrial drives. Whilst each market faced a number of specific issues, the SWOT analyses revealed many critical issues were common:

• A high international reputation for design and a good record of innovation • A good supply chain including specialist and innovative SMEs • World-class university research and undergraduate teaching.


UK weaknesses • A shortage of suitably-skilled engineers graduates and technicians • Power Electronics is not recognised by Government or society generally, in terms of contribution to GDP, employment or as a key enabler e.g. for a low-carbon economy • The activities of industry, universities and Government are not co-ordinated • There is no single organisation coordinating the Power Electronics community. UK opportunities • The UK’s infrastructure, economy and natural resources make it an ideal ‘showroom’ to display UK-based industry as an exemplary producer and user of Power Electronics products, e.g. a world-leader on low-carbon, renewables, manufacturing and sustainability as shown in Figure 4 • There is a movement to re-balance the economy by increasing ‘high-value’ manufacturing: this could provide the momentum to strengthen, extend and exploit UK strengths in Power Electronics • There is a growing interest in power and energy disciplines from electrical and electronics engineering students • Schemes for sponsoring students have great potential to aid recruitment.

Figure 4: Tidal Power Generation courtesy of Tidal Generation Ltd (a division of Rolls Royce) UK threats • An inability to recruit high-quality engineers could make global companies move their design and manufacturing out of the UK • The impact of tuition fees on potential engineering undergraduates. • Regulatory barriers (e.g. not approving work visas from experienced engineers) could make the UK an unattractive place to undertake design and/or manufacture • Changes to the taxation regime could make global companies move their design and manufacturing out of the UK • Competition from low-cost countries (China, India, Brazil) The area of most concern - and affecting academia as well as industry - is the shortage of high quality Power Electronics engineers. Skills in Power Electronics Even with the existing level of activity in Power Electronics, there is a major challenge for both industry and academia to recruit the necessary skills needed to sustain the sector. Anticipated growth increases the pressures, as does the need to replace the large cohort of highly-


NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

skilled people who will leave the sector through retirement. It is clear that the current skills shortage is already slowing industrial growth and impacting undergraduate teaching. Much has been written about the drop in the number of students studying engineering at university, but the position of electrical and electronic engineering, core to Power Electronics, has been dramatic As shown in Figure 5. In 2010 the number of UK students accepting a place to study electrical and electronic engineering in the UK was 41% lower than in 2002[7]. Adding to the problem, 33% of engineering graduates take non-engineering related jobs on graduation[8].

universities play their part in meeting the needs of the country. Doctoral training should be encouraged for Power Electronics graduates through schemes supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The shortage of engineers in Power Electronics is global, but universities – notably in China, Philippines and India - have already responded by gearing up to educate many thousands of Power Electronics engineers each year. The UK must act decisively to attract students to an exciting career in Power Electronics. Several other factors must be considered such as trend of increased overseas students ratio, need for encouragement at school level, need for National Skills Centre and review of immigration regulations. Challenges, opportunities and actions “Power Electronics: A strategy for success – Keeping the UK Competitive” provides a number of detailed recommendations and action points to provide the conditions for the future prosperity of the sector. Five strands are highlighted and can be summarised as follows:

Figure 5: UCAS Trend – Students accepting Degree Places By 2018 there will be 12.9% fewer 15 to 19 yearolds than there were in 2008[9] and so, if the trend were to continue, both industry and academia would face severe difficulties recruiting staff. The impact of significantly higher university fees is yet to be seen, but this is likely to add further pressure to student recruitment. In higher education, quotas for engineers should be investigated as a means to ensure

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

• To establish a National Forum for Power Electronics, promoting an awareness of its importance and its relevance to environmental concerns. • To foster the reputation of the UK as an exemplary producer and user of Power Electronics technologies – a world-leader in low carbon, renewables, manufacturing and sustainability. The starting point is to define the ‘Smart Grid’ with National Grid and Government direction and multi-sector support. • To support design and manufacturing throughout the UK, including within


SMEs and start-up companies, working within the country and internationally with standards-making bodies to represent and defend UK businesses. • To address the need for more talented young people to enter the profession, the National Forum would promote Power Electronics in all areas of education, from primary schools onwards, • To bridge the gaps between universities, start-ups and industry, so that innovation is pulled through in a timely manner.

Conclusion: Power Electronics represents a massive opportunity for the UK. It is already a success story, but action is needed to ensure the conditions are conducive to sustaining and growing its global position. A strong message is being sent out through the UK strategy recommendations encouraging all stakeholders to pull together in realising our potential goals leading to a strong and sustainable Industry for the UK : “A strategy for success”.

References: [1]. Based on a 2009 report by IMS Research: see news/releases/2009/INFIMM200908-074.html [2]. Engineering UK 2011, Exec Summary www. EngUK11_ES&C.pdf [3]. Electronics enabling efficient energy usage, e4u, 2009 [4]. The UK Renewable Energy Strategy, 2009 [5]. Engineering UK 2011, Exec Summary www. EngUK11_ES&C.pdf [6]. tm_2005_230.pdf [7]. UCAS [8]. Engineering UK 2011 [9]. UCAS

Author Professor Bill Drury BSc, PhD, CEng, FIET Emerson-Control Techniques Visiting Professor University of Bristol and Newcastle University Professor Bill Drury is Technical Advisor to the President, (following 20 years as Technical Director) of Emerson / Control Techniques; Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Innovation at Bristol University; Visiting Professor and an external examiner at Newcastle University; holds advisory and


consultancy roles with other Engineering companies. He is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology Academic Accreditation Committee. He has chaired several International Conferences in the field of Power Electronics and Drives and is currently Industrial Chairman of the 2012 IET International Conference for Power Electronics, Machines and Drives. He has more than 60 publications to his name and is the editing author of “The Control Techniques Drives and Controls Handbook” which is published by the IET.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

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Communications Optical Communications are a vital part of the networks that today enable the connected world. Design Engineers in the UK and Ireland have particular expertise in this area and many of the key technologies used worldwide are designed in this region. This article contains contributions from three such exemplar companies: • Maxim Integrated Products, Bristol • Intune Networks, Dublin • Fujitsu Semiconductors, Maidenhead Each expert give their perspectives on this essential, increasingly important and naturally invisible technology on which the modern world depends.

FTTH – the next wave in Broadband Allard van der Horst, Maxim Integrated Products Summary A few million lucky people in this world have already Fibre To The Home (FTTH), providing them with lightning fast broadband connections. In Japan, Korea, some parts of the US and now increasingly China there are real volume roll-outs of this advanced connection to the internet. This is just the start, as we see FTTH technology become the next ADSL as it will be a true, global means to provide consumers with internet access. The UK has a significant role to play in FTTH well over 60% of all FTTH Optical Network Terminals (ONTs – the FTTH of an ADSL modem) contain chips designed in Bristol.


“well over 60% of all FTTH Optical Network Terminals contain chips designed in Bristol” ADSL and FTTx Just as the UK is getting used to being online all the time and actually watch YouTube or iPlayer videos without having to wait ages, it seems that we’re behind again. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology is bringing 8Mbps (or more if you’re lucky) to our homes, enabling a host of internet applications we could not imagine ten years ago. The government is making a real push to offer this kind of connectivity to all in the UK, with the Digital Britain plan for this kind of internet connection to be available to all in 2012. Still, in many countries ADSL is now old technology and carriers are investing large amounts of money in Fibre to the Home (or FTTH) or one of its derivatives commonly referred to as FTTx. As can be seen from the table below, Japan is leading the way, but is expected to be overtaken by China very soon.

Source: IDATE

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

FTTx – What Is It?

FTTH Components

Most people have heard of Fibre to the Home, but to many it is not clear what this exactly is. In general FTTH is a term for any method of (internet) connection using fibre. While there is a multitude of underlying technologies (including point-to-point), most current FTTH networks are based on Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) or Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Networking (GEPON). Both standards are capable of offering user speeds of 50Mbps and higher, using a shared fibre plant and burst mode transmitters (Time Division Multiplexing - TDM). Both technologies have modems at the customer premises terminating the fibre and offering Ethernet, telephone and sometimes also video connections.

So why are we so interested in this, even if the UK is not going to see any significant roll-out in the foreseeable future? It seems that in the UK, especially Bristol, we are very good at designing chips for this market, especially the components that interface to the lasers and the fibre. To start, let’s have a look at what is required to make a FTTH modem.

There is the processor, some memory, network interfaces (Ethernet, voice, video) and there is the optical interface. Usually this is implemented in a separate sub-system called an optical transceiver module. This module comprises everything to receive and transmit data over the optical fibre: a laser driver, amplifiers for the receive side and control and measurement circuits to make sure all works as required over a range of temperatures and during the lifetime of the part. While it is clear that FTTH connections are still below those of ADSL and VDSL (total shipments around 80MU/yr), they already represent a significant volume of shipments. Last year over 15M units of these FTTH modems were shipped and volume is expected to exceed 20M in 2012, while ADSL and VDSL sales are expected to slow down. It seems inevitable that FTTH will become the next ADSL and in the long run will be the method of choice for internet connectivity to the home or the business.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

In Bristol there is a centre of excellence for the chips required in these optical modules, with a number of excellent analogue mixed signal (AMS) design engineers and supporting cast such as marketing and applications support. As a consequence now over 60% of all FTTH modems have one or more chips in them that are designed in Bristol. How do we stay ahead? The market never stands still; when you are leading in market share there are always


pretenders snapping at your heels, coming up with competitive solutions, offering to lower cost or enable the latest features. Only by having the best customer engagements and providing information to the best design engineers is it possible to satisfy customer needs and maintain a lead in tough global markets such as this.

in very little commercial grade solutions appearing on the market. One of the technology issues with building an optical version of a router is the lack of optical memory or buffering. A solution to this is a long way off even today, so will optical networks remain as they have been and stick to the static optical path? Not necessarily…

The NMI can help the industry in the UK maintain this worldwide leadership by supporting the links between industry and academia, showing students there is a real opportunity for those who have the right skills to be part of the future of the internet!

Finding a first practical implementation

About the Company Maxim Integrated Products Bristol, formerly Phyworks, focuses on analog mixed signal chips for Fibre to the Home and Signal Integrity applications. The full product development cycle is supported locally, including marketing, design and applications support, with the backing from the world-wide Maxim organization. Maxim is one of the world’s most successful analog chip companies with over $2B revenue and employs over 9000 people worldwide, including sites in Reading, Edinburgh, Cambridge and now Bristol.

Dynamic Optical Layer for Metro Networks - The Next Wave

There is one practical next step to move towards the Holy Grail and it involves using more advanced control algorithms around a component that has finally matured: the tunable laser. The tunable laser was first touted as a means to produce coherent detection systems in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s but soon became the device of choice for sparing applications: one laser can be stocked to cover all of the wavelengths in a WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system, a universal laser. However, no network designs have ever utilised the tunable aspect in real-time. That is where Intune Networks come in, where work on tunable lasers started over 15 years ago. Now as this component is matured sufficiently (250,000 units shipped annually), Intune has built an Optical Packet Switch by using a fibre optic ring as a switching fabric. Essentially you get optical switch and then transport for free.

John Dunne, Intune Networks

Optical versus Electronic packet switching Optical packet switching has been researched, talked about, promised but never delivered over the last 20 years. It was seen as the Holy Grail of networking where finally, the optical layer can pay its own way in the world. However the large number of approaches combined with the immaturity of the technology resulted


Wavelength (coloured) Switching of Packets

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

How It Works Packets arrive into the system with Ethernet addressing or perhaps some other labelling, and are forwarded by tuning the lasers to specific colours in nano-seconds after being queued electronically. Effectively a burst of colour is used to wavelength route the packet around the ring directly to its destination port in one optical hop. This burst-mode use of light at a packet granularity drives a whole range of developments in both optical and electronics. This hybrid opto-electronic distributed switch is a first practical solution to the introduction of dynamic optics and can be used in the metro layer of the network to optically bypass expensive router ports that process at layer 3.

advanced optical network. In fact, the test bed is open to all-comers who wish to apply for lab access. There are discussions about linking the test-bed into a European wide university network at some point in the future. The performance of the new technology shows a dramatic drop in power consumption as there are no electronic switch chips. All of the switching is performed using lasers that would normally be there anyhow to create links to other switches. It is as if a standard switch was exploded out around a 300km ring, distributing the ports, the scheduling algorithms and the internal control system.

Business Value of Optical Switching But what does this mean for networks? The optical switching at a packet granularity means that you can merge flows of packets from different locations optically. This greatly improves the utilisation of existing fibre, from typical levels of 5% up to 80% in some cases. In other words, the optical can constantly change to adapt to unpredictable traffic patterns. Compare this to static optical pipes which often become stranded bandwidth when demand is low. Effectively you are reusing the light and lowering dependency on energy gobbling electronic switching. Energy costs drop, capital costs drop and performance improves simultaneously – the true measure of breakthrough technology. It’s Working! Ireland’s Exemplar Network Testbed The solution is already working in the Irish Government’s Exemplar Network, which is a sand box of R&D companies to test and build applications on top of the world’s most


The Intune Verisma Optical Packet Switch So watch out for this new technology called Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST) as it starts to enter into commercial networks, driving higher quality of service and lower costs through to the network users. It may be the start of the era of optics emerging from the long shadow of the electronics switching that has dominated 20 years of the internet.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

About the Company Intune is a privately funded company founded in 1999 with its headquarters and main R&D facilities in Dublin. In 2006 the company seized the opportunity to build an optical packet switch and raised an initial €17M from investors led by Balderton Capital and including Amadeus ( London) and Spark Ventures (Boston). In 2009 a further €29M in series B financing was raised adding new and local investors. The company is currently closing its series C financing round and is at the commercial launch phase of its optical switch. In 2008, Intune opened an R&D centre in Belfast, to take advantage of the excellent telecoms skillsets in that region and the historical connections with companies such as Nortel.

Invisible But Essential – Data Convertors to meet the needs of High Speed Optical Communications.

Neil Sellars, Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe (FSEU)

The growth of capacity required by Google, YouTube, Video On Demand and other internet services has created an historic doubling of needs every 2 years and this trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. The cost to install new optical fiber is very expensive so the goal is to push the highest data rates down the installed fiber base. Optical Networks were originally planned to support up to 2.5 Gigabits/second (Gb/s) but with such large increases in demand for capacity, the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF) has found it necessary to define a DualPolarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK) standard for 100Gb/s long-haul optical networks. Although leading edge, this is today’s technology and merely answers the demands of today. For the near future the

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

pathway to 400Gb/s or even 1 Terabit/second (Tb/s) is being actively researched in preparation for the demands of tomorrow. In this article we will share some details of the work being carried out at Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe’s (FSEU) UK mixed signal design centre located at Maidenhead in the UK on development of Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analog Convertor (DAC) Intellectual Property in standard CMOS process technology known as CHAIS (CHArge-mode Interleaved Sampler). The centre also includes a package design team which is critical to achieving the necessary ADC & DAC performance levels when integrated with a large DSP (Digital Signal Processor) in a single chip solution. Data Convertor Requirements for Optical Communications In long-haul coherent optical systems, the standard today is DP-QPSK. This was pioneered at 40G several years ago and a 100G standard single-carrier DP-QPSK was introduced in 2010. Some considerations for Optical Communications over the next five years: • 400G/1Tb/s long-haul standards are still being defined, but rollout is still several years away • Metro Area Networks (MAN) / short-haul will follow when power consumption and cost decrease • WDM-PON is being considered as successor to 10G PON by industry working groups like FSAN • Router/switch interconnects – when traditional binary signalling runs out of steam and we move toward multi-level signalling in order to allow higher order modulations schemes to be used


SiVenture - a micro-electronics success story The SiVenture laboratory, located in Maidenhead, Berkshire, contains all the necessary equipment to support chip deprocessing, circuit edit and failure analysis, including full chemical facilities, reactive ion etching, focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope. In addition there are probing facilities to test the results of FIB edits. Working for a variety of clients, SiVenture provides a high quality, quick turn round, service designed to help clients minimise down time, and maximise yield and throughput. SiVenture prides itself on its long experience with circuit analysis and edit, and on its ability to be available as and when necessary for its clients.

CMOS High Performance Data Convertors The technology needed to support long-haul optical transport systems providing data links of 100Gbps and higher over a single wavelength are data convertors (ADC+DAC) having sampling rates in the range of 55–65 GigaSamples/second (GS/s) per channel with small footprints and low power consumption. These devices offer ultra-fast sampling rates, high resolution, low noise and wide bandwidth signal generation for OTU4 (Optical Transport Network Standard) signals in the case of a DAC.

For transmission to the optical line, the use of high-speed, high resolution DACs instead of standard digital interfaces offers a number of advantages. Management of skew among the four signal component lanes is done in the digital domain allowing precision control that is very stable across processing, temperature or voltage variations in the transceiver device. Signal processing in the digital domain allows for compensation of non-linearities in the transmit optics chain, as well as mitigating signal reflections at the device IOs. Integration of the four-channel DAC into a transceiver device also removes the requirement for a separate multiplexer/encoder device.

UK Design: the world’s fastest CMOS DAC/ADC The advantage of having such highperformance converters in standard CMOS process technology is that it allows for their integration on a single die together with a complex DSP and high-speed serial OTN (Optical Transport Network) framer interfaces to form a 100Gbps DP-QPSK transceiver. For such a device with four ADC and four DAC channels running at 65 GigaSamples/second (GSa/s), the sheer volume of data (2 Tb/s) being converted between the analogue and the digital domain dictates a single die solution.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

For optical transport systems that will support higher data rates (e.g. 400Gb/s), higher order modulation schemes are likely to be employed. FSEU’s 65GSa/s ADC & DACs’ in 40nm and subsequent data converters in development, with even higher sampling rates and in smaller process nodes, are key technology enablers for these next-generation systems. As well as providing a viable roadmap for next-generation long-haul optical transport systems, FSEU’s family of high-speed DACs and ADCs also supports product applications in areas such as test and measurement, optical access and very high speed short-range interconnect.


Key Package Design Factors. The package typically will be a 1mm pitch FCBGA (Flip-Chip Ball Grid Array) with over 1000 pins, 20 internal layers made from Lowloss high-TCE LTCC (12ppm/C) for improved second-level reliability. The package will require multiple power/ ground regions and shields for noise isolation and ultra-low-inductance internal decoupling for supplies and bias/reference. The noise is dealt with inside the package which simplifies a customer’s PCB design and ensures consistent performance. In the package we need create features such as coaxial via and waveguide structures, the removal of ground planes above signal balls to reduce capacitance and increase layer spacing is incorporated to further reduce losses. Future Challenges to progress beyond 100Gb/S If we accept the assumption that industry standards will continue the drive for higher sample/baud rates then these are the challenges that we face in the future: • Sampler noise/bandwidth/interleave skew/ clock jitter – these can be solved using new CMOS techniques without resort to exotic technology. A 110-130GSa/s ADC/DAC for 400Gb/s using 16QAM is feasible in CMOS. • Improved bandwidth/loss - new package/ PCB materials will be needed for such high frequencies and signal integrity challenges for mass produced PCB’s will need to be overcome. • Power Consumption – this is going to be a DSP not an ADC/DAC issue. At 65GSa/s, on 40nm process, consumption is ~9W for four channels and power consumption will be


similar for production 400G system. The DSP power consumption is already several times ADC/DAC power, and this ratio will increase in future. • Design/Software Ecosystem - will the required ecosystem exist to support these designs? • Increasing Development Costs – the oneoff costs or NRE which is likely to lead to fewer developments of 400G/1T chips. One solution to the increasing development cost would be sharing of Intellectual Property or collaboration between competitors. However this is unlikely to happen as, with the core hardware being the same, it would be difficult to differentiate products. Summary FSEU has developed Patented ADC & DAC CMOS Intellectual Property collectively known as CHAIS that are used today in 100Gb/s long haul optical solutions. As CHAIS uses standard CMOS process technology it has been integrated on a single die with DSP and other system solution elements. The CHAIS technology is flexible to support the data converter requirements for future needs. The CHAIS technology can meet the data convertor requirements in other optical communication market sectors such as MAN access and short reach high data rate links. About the Company Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe GmbH (FSEU) is a 100% owned subsidiary of the semiconductor manufacturer Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited. FSEU employs around 400 staff within Europe and over 70% of these are engineering positions. Employees are based at nine geographic locations within Europe with the HQ and warehouse being at Langen, Germany.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

FSEU has six design centres in Europe, including Maidenhead in the UK, covering Communications, Automotive, Embedded Solutions and Home Entertainment market sectors.

About the Authors Allard van der Horst, Maxim Integrated Products

Allard van der Horst is Senior Scientist at Maxim Integrated Products. Allard joined Maxim in September 2010 through the acquisition of Phyworks where he held the position of CTO. His current interests include Signal Integrity Solutions and Next Generation PON, collaborations and standards development. Allard has 20 years experience in the industry and holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Twente (Netherlands).


This article is in memory of Neil Amos, VicePresident of the Communications Business Unit at Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe who passed away in August 2011. For twenty years, Neil led the design teams who developed the data convertor technology discussed in this article.

John Dunne, Intune Networks

John Dunne is CTO of Intune networks, having co-founded the company in 1999 with Tom Farrell following EU-funded research work at University College Dublin. John has a first class honours electronics degree and a PhD in the field of tunable lasers from UCD and has spent his career working on the application of these devices into telecommunications systems. He is a co-inventor on some of Intune’s core intellectual property on network systems and is published internationally in the field of optoelectronics.

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Since founding the company, John has been responsible for the commercial vision of how Intune’s core technology could be applied into the Telecoms market. His current role includes working with technology strategy leaders of network operators and network users to roll out Intune’s tunable network innovation. He is a regular invited speaker at conferences on innovation, network technology and the future trends in the communications industry. Neil Sellars, Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe (FSEU)

Neil is currently based in the UK and heads up the EMEA sales team at Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe. He began his career in electronics with GEC-Marconi at the Marconi Research Centre as part of a team working in the field of Optical and Electronic Interconnection and Packaging. After that he joined Radstone Technology (formally Plessey Microsystems) initially working in the Engineering Department before moving into Product Marketing. Since then Neil had held a number of Sales and Marketing management positions with Rohm Electronics, NEC Electronics and has been with Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe for nearly ten years.

NMI Board of Directors

David Wollen Chairman, NMI and CEO Elonics

Dr. Derek Boyd CEO, NMI

Dr. Hossein Yassaie Stuart Langdon Chief Executive Officer, European Facilities Imagination Technologies Director, International Rectifier


Paul Meredith Site and Operations Manager, NXP Semiconductors

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Ian Phillips Ivor Evans Vice President of Product Principal Staff Engineer, ARM Engineering, CSR

Jan Reid Senior Manager, Enabling Technologies, Scottish Enterprise

Mark Glover Director of Business Planning, Technology Strategy Board

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Don Nicolson Managing Director Semi Scenic UK Ltd

Patrick McNamee Vice President of Silicon Operations, Nujira

Liam Blackwell Associate Programme Manager, EPSRC

Anthony O’Neill Professor of Microelectronics, Newcastle University


NMI Design Advisory Board

Geoff Barrett NDAB Chair and Associate Technical Director, Broadband Communications Group, Broadcom

Simon Chang Director of Physical Design, CSR


Dermott Barry VP Consumer Silicon, S3

Graham Curren CEO, Sondrel

Dr. David Burrows Vice President of Product Management & Execution, Aptina Imaging

Gary Duncan VP Engineering, Dialog Semiconductor

Peter Frith CTO, Wolfson Microelectronics

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Peter Hughes Vice President Mobile, NVIDIA

Keith Kidd Senior Director Technology, Renesas Electronics Europe

Ian Macbeth CEO and Founder, eoSemi

Dr. John Mclean Division Head, STFC-RAL

Steve Neill Vice President, Bristol Design Centre & Technical Director, Infineon Technologies (UK) Ltd

Ian Phillips Principal Staff Engineer, ARM

Iqbal Sharif Senior Director Touch Engineering, Atmel

Robert Shepherd ST Ericsson

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012


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EquipIC HBC Haarlem1 Unit D-2 A. Hofmanweg 5A 2031 bh Haarlem Netherlands T: +31 23 750 5144 W: ExceptionPCB Alexandra Way Ashchurch Business Centre Tewkesbury Gloucestershire GL20 8NB T: 01684 278 928 W:


Fourteen Technology 67A Christchurch Road East Sheen London SW14 7AN T: 08707 669 350 Freescale Semiconductor Colvilles Road Kelvin Industrial Estate East Kilbride G75 0TG T: 01355 356 197 W:

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe Network House Norreys Drive Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 4FJ T: 01628 50 46 00 W: services/microelectronics/ GaN Systems Limited GaN Systems Limited Littleton House Cottage Blandford St Marys Dorset 29Th September 2011 DT11 9NB T: 01258 455 413 W: Garfield Microelectronics Selsley Road North Woodchester Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 5NN T: 01453 872 922 W: Gemfire Starlaw Park Starlaw Road Livingston EH54 8SF T: 01506 426 085 W: Global Prooject Services Suite S11 Duart House Strathclyde Business Park Bellshill ML4 3PR T: 01698 744 463 W: Global Technologies (prev. NatcoServices Limited - all details relate to them) Suite J Alba Centre Alba Business Park Livingston EH54 7EG T: 01506 420 170 W:

Global Unichip No. 10 Li Hsin 6th Rd Hsinchu Science Park Hsinchu City 30078 Taiwan T: 01633 413697 W: Green Hills Software Fleming Business Centre Leigh Road, Eastleigh Hampshire SO50 9PD T: 02380 649 660 W: GSS Glasgow University Dept. of Electronics & Electrical Engineering Oakfield Avenue Glasgow G12 8QQ T: 0141 330 4790 W: goldstandardsimulations. com Hach Lange Limited PAACIFIC Way Salford Manchester M50 1D T: 01506 442 606 W: Highland Scientific Unit 16 Bedford Business Centre Mile Road Bedford MK42 9TW T: 01234 216 636 W: www.highland-scientific. com HiWave 1010 Canbourne Bus Park Cambourne Cambridge CB23 6DP T: 01223 597 840 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

IBM Normandy House PO Box 32 Bunnian Place Basingstoke Hants RG21 7EJ T: 0870-542-6426 W: technology/ IC Resourcces Capital House 67-69 St John’s Road Isleworth Middlesex TW7 6NL T: 0208 400 6077 W: ICEMOS Technology Ltd 5 Hannahstown Hill Belfast BT17 0LT T: 02890 574 730 W: ICP Search 1 Jubilee Street Brighton East Sussex BN1 1GE T: 01273 872 260 W: Imagination Technologies Imagination House Home Park Estate Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8LZ T: 01923 260 511 W: IMEC Kapeldreef 75 B-3001 Leuven Belgium T: +32 1628 1248 W: Imperial College Dept of Electical and Electronic Engineering Imperial College London London SW7 2AZ T: 020 7954 6167 W:

Infineon Technologies Infineon House Great Western Court Hunts Ground Road Stoke Gifford Bristol BS34 8HP T: 0117 952 8713 W: Ingenious Quality 2 Cherry Close Hook Hampshire RG27 9RL T: 01256 767 897 W: Inside Secure Maxwell Building Scottish Enterprise Technology Park East Kilbride G75 0QR T: 01355 803 461 W: Institute for System Level Integration Herriot Watt Research Park Research Avenue North Edinburgh EH14 4AP T: 0131 510 0670 W: Intel Corporation Limited Pipers Way Swindon SN3 1RJ T: 01793 403 583 W: International Rectifier Newport Cardiff Road Duffryn Newport NP9 1YJ T: 01633 811 310 W: www.@Irf.Com Ion Beam Services Unit 36B Inchmuir Road Whitehill Industrial Estate Bathgate EH48 2EP T: 01506 633 537 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

IQE Europe Beech House Cypress Drive St. Mellons, Cardiff CF3 0LW T: 02920 839 493 W: Jaltek Design Services Amber House Market Street Bracknell RG12 1JB T: 01344 354 990 W: Lancaster University Faculty of Applied Sciences Lancaster University Lancaster LA1 4YR T: 01524 593 018 W: Lauterbach Limited Basepoint Business Centre Stroudley Road Basingstoke RG24 8UP T: 01256 333 690 W: Lfoundry Jenaer Straße 1 84034 Landshut T: +49 871 6840 W: Logos Logistics 53-58 South Avenue Blantyre Industrial Estate Blantyre G72 0XB T: 0845 838 7540 W: Loughborough Surface Analysis Ltd Unit FC Holywell Park, Ashby Road Loughborough Leicestershire LE11 3WS T: 01509 283 069 W:

Lynbond 2000 Blenheim Court Brownfields Welwyn Garden City Herts AL7 1AD T: 01707 259 996 W: M & W Group Methuen South Bath Road Chippenham SN14 0GT T: 01249 455150 W: Magma Design Automation Ltd 250 South Oak Way Green Park Reading RG2 6UG T: 0118 913 1516 W: Maser Engineering UK Branch Office Redcroft Associates Hambridge Lane, Lechlade Gloucestershire GL7 3ED T: 01367 252 265 W: Matrics Limited Selsley Road North Woodchester Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 5NN T: 01453 872 922 W: Maxim Integrated Products 4 Jamaica Street Edinburgh EH3 6HH T: 0131 516 7800 W: Mediatek 30 Tower View Kings Hill, West Mailing Kent ME19 4AD T: 01732 229 500 W:


Megatech Limited Littleton Drive Huntington Cannock Staffordshire WS12 4TS T: 01543 500 044 W: memsstar Limited (Point 35) Starlwaw Park Starlaw Road Livingston EH54 8SF T: 0135378 002 W:

Micross Components Limited 2 Oriel Court Alton Hants GU34 2RX T: 01420 594 180 W: Mirics Semiconductor Ltd Oakmere, Barley Way Ancells Business Park Fleet GU51 2UT T: 01283 819 992 W:

Mentor Graphics Rivergate Newbury Business Park Newbury Berkshire RG14 2QB T: 01635 811 647 W:

MKS Instruments 1 Anchorage Court Caspian Road Altrincham WA14 5HH T: 01506 440 004 W: uk1.aspx

Merit Merrel Technology Limited Unit 1 Silverlink Business Park Wallsend Tyne & Wear NE28 9ND T: 01901 296 9602 W:

Moortec Limited Tamerton Road Roborough Plymouth PL6 7BQ T: 01752 693 804 W:

Metryx Limited Unit 2 Manor Park Nailsea Wall Lane Nailsea BS48 4DD T: 01275 589 988 W: Mfg Vision Limited Friarstown House Crecora Co Limerick Ireland T: +353 6130 9745 W: Microlease Finance Tudor Road Harrow HA3 5SS T: 020 8427 8822


Multi-Lab Limited 5 Langlands Place East Kilbride G75 T: 0191 264 6801 W: MVTS Technologies Waterside Frog Lane Mapledurwell Basingstoke RG25 2JR T: 01256 383 450 W: Nanoscope Services No 30 Station Road Workshops Station Road, Kingswood Bristol BS15 4PJ T: 0117 957 6225 W: www.nanoscopeservices. com

Nanotech Semiconductor 2 West Point Court Great Park Road Bradley Stoke, Bristol BS32 4PY T: 01454 462 200 W: Nor-Cal UK Limited Units 5 and 6 Home Farm Ind Estate Minety Malmesbury SN16 9PL T: 01666 861 221 W: NTEK Consultants 51 Blackcroft Road Mount Vernon Glasgow G32 0QZ T: 0141 778 3619 Nujira Limited Building 1010 Cambourne Business Park Cambourne Cambridge CB23 6DP T: 01223 597 900 W: NVIDIA 2520 The Quadrant Aztec West Bristol BS32 4AQ T: 01454 284 800 W: NXP Semiconductors Bramhall Moor Lane Hazel Grove Stockport SK7 5BJ T: 0161 957 5355 W: Oclaro Caswell Towcester Northamptonshire NN12 8EQ T: 01327 356 258 W:

OM Group Ultra Pure Chemicals Amber Business Centre Ridding, Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 4DA T: 01773 844 200 W: Optocap Limited 5 Bain Square Kirkton Campus Livingston EH54 7DQ T: 01506 403 566 W: Oxford Brookes University Department of Computer Science and Electronics Oxford Brookes University Wheatley Campus Oxford OX33 1HX T: 01865 741 111 W: Oxford Digital 1 Farley Lane The Ridings Stonesfield Oxfordshire OX29 8HB T: 0845 450 5664 W: Panasonic 1 Friary Temple Quay Bristol BS1 6EA T: 0117 344 5155 W: Parallel Systems Continental House Oakridge West End Woking Surrey GU24 9PJ T: 01483 485 210 W: Perforce West Forest Gate Wellington Road, Wokingham Berkshire RG40 2AT T: 0118 936 4107 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Phasix ESD Unit 14 Woodlea Park Medstead Alton Hampshire GU34 5AZ T: 01420 565 634 W: Philips Lighting Wellhall Road Hamilton South Lanarkshire ML3 9BZ T: 01698 493 315 W: Photronics Bridgend Science Park No 1 Technology Drive Bridgend Mid Glarorgan CF31 3LU T: 0161 930 4953 W: Picochip Riverside Buildings 108 Walcot Street Bath BA1 5BG T: 01225 469 744 W: Plessey Tamerton Road Roborough Plymouth PL6 7BQ T: 01752 693 000 W: Powervation Block 1 International Science Park National Technology Park Cateroy, Limerick Ireland T: +353 61 506 653 W: Premier EDA Solution 4 Millers House Roydon Road Stanstead Abbotts Ware SG12 8HN T: 01920 876 250 W:

Presto Engineering Europe 155-157 Cours Berriat 38028 Grenoble Cedex 1 France T: +33 47670 9339 W: Publitek 18 Brock St Bath BA1 2LW T: 01225 470 000 W: Pure Wafer Ltd Central Business Park Swansea Vale Swansea SA7 OAB T: 01792 311 200 W:

RenesasElectronicsEuropeLtd. Dukes Meadow Millboard Road Bourne End Buckinghamshire SL8 5FH T: 01628 585 143 W:

S3 Skeoge Industrial Estate Beraghmore Road Derry BT48 8SE N.Ireland T: 02871 357 760 W:

Retronix North Caldeen Road Coatbridge ML5 4EF T: 01236 433 345 W:

S3 Silicon Software Systems Whelan House South County Business Park Leopardstown Dublin 18 T: +353 1 291 1000 W:

RF Global Solutions 21 Langlands Place East Kilbride G75 0YF T: 01355 236 392 W:

Raytheon Systems Ltd Queensway Industrial Estate Glenrothes Fife KY7 5PY T: 01582 754 311 W:

RF Micro Devices Heighington Lane Business Park Newton Aycliffe Durham DL5 6JW T: 01325 306 141 W:

Reliability Consultancy Limited 9 Alder Close Romsey Hants SO51 5SJ T: 01794 311 105 W:

RF Support Limited 55 Carron Place Kelvin Industrial Estate East Kilbride G75 0YL T: 01355 227 228 W:

Reliability Solutions Limited 18 Hillside Houston Renfrewshire PA6 7NT T: 07967 144 097 W: www.reliabilitysolutions. com Reltech Cam Mills Lower Cam. Dursley Gloucestershire GL11 5PW T: 01453 541 211 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Rochester Electronics Limited Phoenix House 2 Phoenix Park Eaton Scoon St Neots Cambridge PE19 8EP T: 01480 408 400 W: Rood Microtec Oettinger Str. 6 86720 Noerdlingen Germany T: +49 9081 804 130 W:

Savantech Suite 46 Geddes House Livingston West Lothian EH54 6GU T: 01506 592 280 W: Scotech Limited Nethermill Properties Langbank Renfrewshire PA14 6YG T: 01475 540 689 W: ScotLift Systems Limited 16 Hamilton Drive West Duddingston Edinburgh EH15 1NR T: 08453 883 476 W: Scottish Enterprise 150 Broomielaw Atlantic Quay Glasgow G2 8LU T: 0131 313 6132 W: Scottish Microelectronics Centre The King’s Buildings West Mains Road Edinburgh EH9 3JF T: 0131 650 7473 W:


Shin-Etsu Handotai Europe Ltd Wilson Road Toll Roundabout Eliburn, Livingston EH54 7DA T: 01506 424431 W:

Smartest GmbH Alte Landstrasse 23-25 Ottobrunn D-85521 Germany T: +49 89 45 15 05 15 W:

Sel-Tek Limited PO Box 19046 Motherwell ML1 9AJ T: 01698 262 569 W:

Silansys Semiconductor Adelaide Chambers Peter Street Dublin 8 Ireland T: +353 1 483 0894 W:

Selex Galileo Christopher Martin Road Basildon Essex SS14 3EL T: 01268 883 003 W:

Silicon Basis Ltd. University Gate East Park Row Bristol BS1 5UB T: 07976 922 720 W:

Sondrel Ltd Asmec Centre Merlin House, Brunel Road Theale Berkshire RG7 4AB T: 0118 902 6822 W:

Semefab (Scotland ) Limited Newark Road North Eastfield Industrial Estate Glenrothes Fife KY7 4NT T: 01592 630 630 W:

Silicon South West Carpenter House Innovation Centre 1st Floor, Broad Quay Bath BA1 1UD T: 01225 388 682 W:

Seagate Technology (Ireland) 1 Disc Drive Springtown Industrial Estate Derry BT48 0BF T: 02871 274 280 W:

Semi Scenic UK Ltd Newton Building Rankin Avenue Scottish Enterprise Tech Park East Kilbride G75 0QF T: 01355 222 166 W: Semtek Unit 2 & 3 Park Court, Premier Way Abbey Park Ind Est Romsey, Hampshire SO51 9DN T: 01794 527 600 W:


Swindon Silicon Systems Limited Radnor Street Swindon SN1 3PR T: 01793 649 400 W:

SPP Process Technology Systems Imperial Park Newport NP10 8UJ T: 01633 652 479 W:

Synergie CAD UK Limited Greetwell Place Limekiln Way, Greetwell Road Lincoln LN2 4US T: 01522 520 222 W:

SPS Limited Aghmhor Annex Whitmuir Selkirk TD7 4PZ T: 01750 725712 W:

Synopsys (Northern Europe) Limited 100 Brook Drive Green Park Reading RG2 6UJ T: 0118 965 1081 W:

Simple Technical Solutions(STS)Ltd 3 Bankhead Avenue Bankhead Industrial Estate Glenrothes KY7 6JG T: 01592 593 300 W:

Stepper Technology Ltd Unit 1 Block1 Earnhill Road Larkfield Ind Est Greenock Inverclyde PA16 0EQ T: 01475 635 410 W:

SiSTEM Technology 8 Stocks Hill Silverstone Towcester Northamptonshire NN12 8UW T: 01327 857 006 W:

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Didcot OX11 0QX T: 01235 445 276 W:

SiVenture Serma Technologies Unit 6 Cardwallis Park 33 Avenue du General Lecierc Clivemont Road 92260 Maidenhead Fontenay-aux-Roses Berkshire T: +33 1 4095 6251 SL6 7BU W: www.serma-technologies. T: 01628 651 366 com W:

Swansea University School of Engineering Power Electronics Design Centre Swansea SA2 8PP T: 01792 513 720 W:

STMicroelectronics Planar House Parkway Globe Park Marlow SL7 1YL T: 01628 896 290 W:

T Squared Group 2 Robroyston Oval Nova Technology Park Glasgow G33 1AP T: 0141 639 3957 W: Teradyne The Western Centre Western Road Bracknell Berkshire RG12 1RW T: 01344 725 845 W: Test and Verification Solutions SET Squared Business Park Acceleration Centre University Gate East Park Row Bristol BS1 5UB T: 0117 903 1100 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

Tetreon Technologies Ltd Thermco Division Spring Gardens London Road, Washington West Sussex RH20 3BS T: 01903 892 088 W:

Tyndall National Institute University College Lee Maltings Prospect Row Cork Ireland T: +353 21 490 4159 W:

Texas Instruments Larkfield Industrial Estate Greenock PA16 OEQ T: 01475 655511 W:

U4 Global Solutions Enterprise House Ocean Village Southampton SO14 3XB T: 023 8076 0909 W:

Thales Research & Technology UK Ltd Thales Research & Technology Worton Grange Reading RG2 0SB T: 0118 986 8601 W: Thin Film Equipment 6 Rendall Gardens Broxburn West Lothian EH52 5SY T: 01506 857 566 W: Tokyo Electron Europe Ltd 190 Clarence Gate Gardens Fleming Way Crawley RH10 9QL T: 01293 655 810 W: Toumaz Technology Ltd Building 3 115 Milton Park Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 4RZ T: 01235 438 950 W: TTE Systems 106 New Walk Leicester LE1 7EA T: 0116 223 1684 W:

Unisem Europe Parkway Pen-y-Fan Industrial Estate Croespenmaen Crumlin South Wales NP11 3XT T: 01495 242 409 W: University of Bristol Department of Computer Science Merchant Ventures Building Woodland Road Bristol BS8 1UB T: 0117 954 5146 W: University of Glasgow Dept Electronics and Electrical Engineering Glasgow G12 8LT T: 0141 330 5233 W: University of Greenwich Old Royal Naval College Park Row London SE10 9LS T: 0208 331 9795 W: University of Manchester School of Computer Science Oxford Road Manchester M13 9PL T: 0161 275 6129 W:

NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

University of Newcastle Merz Court Newcastle Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU T: 0191 222 7328 W: University of Nottingham Faculty of Engineering University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD T: 0115 846 8685 W: University of Southampton Department of Electronics & Computer Science University of Southampton Mount Batton Building Southampton SO17 1BJ T: 023 8059 2650 W:

Westerwood (WG) Global Ltd Unit H1 Maynooth Business Campus Maynooth Co.Kildare Ireland T: +353 1651 0121 W: www.westerwoodglobal. com Wind River Central Boulevard Blyth Valley Park Solihull West Midlands B90 8AG T: 01564 711 110 W: Wolfson Microelectronics 26 Westfield Road Edinburgh EH11 2QB T: 0131 272 7015 W:

University of Warwick School of Engineering Coventry CV4 7AL T: 024 7652 4742 W:

Wordentec Ltd Lake Ind Est Shebbear Devon EX21 5SP T: 08453 707 041 W:

University West of England Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol BS16 1QY T: 0117 328 2606 W:

Xerenet Rubicon Centre Bishoptown Cork Ireland T: 021 420 9066 W:

Vance Precision Levenbank Street Jamestown Alexandria G83 8BZ T: 01389 755 010 W: www.vance-technologies. com

Xintronix 8 Julian Road Bristol BS9 1LL T: 0117 349 2897 W:

Veale Wasbrough Vizards Orchard Court Orchard Lane Bristol BS1 5WS T: 0117 925 2020 W:

XMOS Semiconductor Venturers House King Street Bristol BS1 4PB T: 0117 915 4210 W:


Index of Advertisers ASE




Austria Microsystems


Publitek Marketing Communications


Elonics Ltd


Reltech Ltd






Semefab Ltd


Semi Scenic Ltd





13, 64

Future World Symposium


Imagination Technologies




Smartest GmbH


Infineon Technologies


Stepper Technology Ltd


Institute for System Level Integration



Maser Engineering


Swindon Silicon Systems Ltd


MVTS Technologies







Oxford Digital



NMI Yearbook 2011-2012

The Future World Symposium 2012 April 24th / 25th Wembley, London The Future World Symposium is NMI’s flagship conference and will focus on the increasing role of electronics in: Home




Join the thought leaders of industry, innovation and UK research at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

You can see the future if you know where to look.

NMI Ywarbook 2011-2012  
NMI Ywarbook 2011-2012  

NMI Yearbook for 2011 to 2012