MCCI reports €7.5m in revenues from electronics research

24 Jul 2018

Alberto Dicataldo of the Microelectronics Circuits Centre of Ireland (MCCI) based at Tyndall in Cork. Image: MCCI

MCCI reports positive revenues as it continues to power Ireland’s semiconductor capacity.

The Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI), which is based in Cork, has reported research revenues in excess of €7.5m for the past year.

From a core grant of €1m, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland-funded MCCI grew its microelectronic research funding a further €6.5m through industry collaboration as well as public funding sources.

In 2017, the centre also completed six intellectual property (IP) licences for medtech and agritech applications, with a further eight IP licences currently under negotiation.

MCCI is powering Ireland’s semiconductor capacity by creating and growing talent in microelectronic engineering, securing R&D jobs for the future, and attracting further FDI investment in the sector.

The group acts as a single point of contact for the microelectronics industry in Ireland to access academic research through its partners. The strategy has proven highly successful and MCCI is working with global brand names and tech giants from Analog Devices to Qualcomm, Intel and Boston Scientific, among others.

The chips are up

Cork’s MCCI engineers $7.5m in revenues from electronics research

MCCI executive director Donnacha O’Riordan. Image: MCCI

“Our sustained growth since the establishment of the MCCI in 2010 demonstrates the value and importance of our work in microelectronic research,” said MCCI executive director Donnacha O’Riordan.

“We are bridging the gap between research and applications for the microelectronics industry, providing a path for fundamental commercialisation of research.

“With the agility to respond proactively to sector changes and demands, a research programme which can focus on problem sets for industry – this is where and how we are delivering real business value through our people and disruptive innovation in microelectronics. We provide expertise, leading-edge IP, and a forum for innovation, sharing insights and networking,” O’Riordan said.

The MCCI talent pool feeds the well-established semiconductor industry in Ireland, including Analog Devices, Xilinx, ON Semiconductor, Intel, MACOM and more, while attracting further FDI.

It will also encourage and power indigenous start-ups such as Firecomms, GloNav, ChipSensors, Mingoa, RedMere and Duolog, which have all been acquired over the five years for more than €100m.

O’Riordan said that the microelectronics sector continues to grow each year, with the global semiconductor industry worth more than $400bn in 2017.

He said that growth rates in the sector hit more than 10pc over the last two years as new drivers and technology cycles begin to take over from the traditional drivers such as PCs and mobile.

“This growth drives demand for electrical and electronics engineers and circuit designers that can develop the connected devices, sensors, embedded systems and actuators. The rapid developments in micro- and nanoelectronics increase the demand for a range of engineers with strong core engineering skills.

“The scarcity of people with the right level of experience is the second-biggest challenge according to soon-to-be published reports, and is common across all parts of the ICT industry.”

Updated, 9.18am, 24 July 2018: The headline of this article was updated to clarify that MCCI reported revenues of €7.5m, not $7.5m.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years