Funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) technology centre recently published its Annual Report, which shows annual research revenue in excess of €7.5 million and a team of over 90 researchers and engineers across Tyndall, UL and UCD, collaborating on more than 50 research projects.
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. MCCI 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.
As microelectronics are central to current global technology trends, such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud and mobile computing, it is essential for Ireland’s competitiveness that we continue to drive research and innovation in the area of microelectronics and semiconductors.
From a core grant of €1 million, the MCCI grew its microelectronic research funding a further €6.5 million through industry collaboration as well as public funding sources. In 2017, the Centre also completed 6 IP licenses for Medtech and SmartAgri applications with a further 8 IP licences currently under negotiation.
Speaking at the launch of the MCCI Annual Report, Executive Director Donnacha O’Riordan said,
“Our sustained growth since the establishment of the MCCI in 2010 demonstrates the value and importance of our work in microelectronic research. We are bridging the gap between research and applications for the microelectronics industry, providing a path for fundamental commercialization 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.”
The microelectronics sector continues to grow each year, with the global semiconductor industry worth well over $400 billion in 2017. Growth rates in the sector well over 10% over the last 2 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 soon to be published reports, and is common across all parts of the ICT industry.
A key trend in the next five years will be the scarcity of students graduating in this electronics engineering discipline. MCCI is poised to address this opportunity, attracting the best undergrad students from across Europe to Ireland and developing them into future leaders in IC design.
The MCCI talent pool will thereby continue to feed the well-established semiconductor industry in Ireland, such as Analog Devices, Xilinx, ON Semiconductor, Intel, MACOM and more, while attracting further FDI. It will also encourage and power indigenous start ups like Firecomms, GloNav, ChipSensors, Mingoa, Redmere and Duolog which have all been acquired over the 5 years for over €100 million.
Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) is hosted by the Tyndall National Institute in collaboration with the University of Limerick.
MCCI has core funding of €1M per annum from EI and IDA which is supplemented with co-funding from industry and other public sources.
MCCI is led by an industry steering board and the research program is driven by its industry members. Companies can use MCCI to create projects and execute world-beating industry-relevant research in line with their business needs.