Integra Devices and UCI target 5G, IoT with new manufacturing process

Jan. 18, 2017

Irvine, CA. Integra Devices has announced that in conjunction with the University of California Irvine (UCI) it is commercializing a new way to build microelectronic devices and sensors. Based on over 15 years and millions of dollars of research at UCI, this manufacturing process will transform the marketplace with smaller, cheaper and faster solutions, the company said, adding that it is producing a new breed of 5G RF devices and smart IoT edge products.

The emerging IoT market is creating demand for billions of devices that sense the environment and send information to the internet, creating unique challenges for the telecommunications, IT, and semiconductor industries. The wireless communications infrastructure must upgrade to over 28 GHz (5G) to accommodate the explosion in data. The IT industry must determine how to install and connect billions of devices to existing equipment and infrastructure. The semiconductor industry must develop new, small, low-cost, highly integrated sensing devices.

Conventional semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing processes have inherent limitations for building sensors and high-frequency RF devices. The company reports that the industry has miniaturized less than 10% of the overall sensor market in the last 30 years and has had limited success in developing miniature RF/microwave devices for high frequency, making it difficult to cost effectively deliver for IoT and 5G.

Integra Devices says it provides a new manufacturing paradigm that can build next generation RF and sensing products without the drawbacks of conventional microelectronic manufacturing, at a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, the Integra Devices approach reduces the cost and time to innovate, design, and manufacture these devices. Integra Devices is currently preparing products including mmWave devices, zero-power sensing devices, and smart edge devices.

“Research and innovation is the corner-stone of UC Irvine,” stated Richard Sudek, chief innovation officer and executive director at UCI Applied Innovation. “Being a major research university, we’ve had the benefit of proximity to pioneering microelectronic powerhouses such as Broadcom, Conexant, and many more. With significant investments from microelectronic R&D labs, the university has spent millions of dollars and decades of research on the innovation of methods, materials, and approaches. Integra Devices represents the culmination of this work, and we are very proud to be a part of an industry breakthrough as Integra introduces this new paradigm shift to the market through products that they have commercialized.”

Key to the technology driving Integra is research by Professor Mark Bachman. “Around UCI, people refer to Professor Bachman as the Internet of Things Guru,’” said Alvin Viray, associate director of UCI Applied Innovation, which oversees technology transfer at the university. “He is a prolific UCI inventor, probably among the university’s top inventors in terms of total disclosures, and has had multiple entrepreneurial endeavors. We are very excited to see Mark’s newest venture take flight.”

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