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Phillip Christie    






Phill Christie has over thirty years’ international experience in the system-level assessment of electronic and optical devices and how these technology developments impact corporate business strategy.  After receiving his doctorate in Applied Physics from the University of Durham in 1985, he joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Delaware, USA, where his research group focussed on design, modelling and metrology of electronic and optical interconnect-limited computer systems. In 2002 he returned to Europe with a position at Philips research, leading teams integrating chip design and fabrication processes with a focus on low power devices and systems. In 2009 he joined the international nanoelectronics research center imec, based in Leuven Belgium,  as principal scientist and currently  leads a team responsible for business and technology strategy for the IC-link division, which provides SMEs and universities with access and design support for advanced electronic and optical semiconductor technologies.


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Presentation abstract


Until recently, hardware start-ups were not considered as good financial bets by investors. With lengthy development cycles and huge up-front investments for custom silicon chips, innovators have long-turned to software to develop products. But a new generation of hardware-based entrepreneurs are building smart systems that interact intelligently with their environment. Systems for small innovative markets, which they can deliver faster, more flexibly, and with lower up-front investments. This paradigm shift is a result of both the hyper-segmentation characteristic of Internet of Things (IoT) markets and the realization that prices for the key technologies used in wireless communication and processing are at an all-time low. In addition, by embedding their ideas in the form of a custom silicon IC, it makes it all but impossible for competitors to pirate or to copy a product. In this presentation, I will discuss how imec’s IC-link division provides the necessary technical support and foundry access to companies and start-ups using “industrialization pathways” which lead from small proto-typing runs consisting of only 20 samples to volume production of millions of units, including packaging, test and qualification.


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