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S3 Semiconductors refocuses on design-to-delivery custom chip service for industrial applications


Mixed-signal integrated circuits promise up to 80% system cost savings; online calculator creates estimates in under a minute

Dublin, Aug. 30, 2017 – S3 Group, a global technology group operating in the semiconductor and connected health industries, has announced a change in strategy for its custom semiconductor business, S3 Semiconductors (S3semi). It will now focus on industrial and communications OEMs, converting their electronic systems and boards into mixed-signal integrated circuits and delivering packaged and tested chips, rather than just design services and IP. This process promises cost savings of up to 80% over the lifetime of projects. The company's new web site (www.s3semi.com) includes a simple online calculator that gives customers a first estimate of their potential savings. Other benefits of custom chips include reduced system size, improved electrical performance, lower power consumption, and greater security, including protection from reverse-engineering.

S3semi is an established semiconductor design house that has completed over 1000 successful mixed-signal chip designs for use in industrial and communications markets. Simultaneously, the firm has created an intellectual property (IP) portfolio spanning analog front ends, clocks, data converters, power management, RF transceivers and temperature sensors. This extensive portfolio enables custom chip development to be achieved economically in short timescales.

"For several years now, we've been discussing with a growing number of our OEM customers the challenges they face with driving down system costs and differentiating their products," says John O'Brien, CEO of parent company, S3 Group. "Our semiconductor group has an excellent reputation as experts in high performance design for communications, industrial control and consumer applications, but most people don't appreciate we also have many years' experience managing the production and logistics of chips for a number of our customers. As Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT gathers pace, and the number of sensor nodes in systems grows, that's the service OEMs are looking for, so it's now our primary focus."

Consolidation of the semiconductor industry over the past few years means that fewer large vendors are willing to respond to the needs of OEMs serving niche or low- to medium-volume, long-lifetime markets. S3semi is one of a new breed of custom semiconductor vendors that can fill the gap. Unlike most semiconductor manufacturers today, S3semi designs each chip for only one customer and engages at the system level, not the chip level. Customer relationships are based on how to optimize cost, performance and features by maximizing on-chip integration.

S3semi designs and manufactures chips that integrate the analog circuitry to interface to sensors, power supplies, electric motors, actuators and other real-world electrical signals with digital processors, memory and control logic. These mixed-signal chips deliver a cost-effective combination of local intelligence, sensor fusion and communications.

S3 Semiconductors is accepting orders now for new designs expected to enter volume production in 2018 and 2019.

About S3 Semiconductors

S3 Semiconductors (S3semi) designs advanced mixed signal chips and manages every aspect of supplying production devices to its customers using some of the world's most advanced semiconductor production facilities. With more than 20 years' experience designing advanced analog and digital circuitry for hundreds of customers around the world, S3semi is a new breed of semiconductor supplier, capable of customizing and optimizing chip designs for each customer and delivering them in volume production for as long as they are needed. S3semi delivers exceptional TCO (total cost of ownership) savings for its customers at volumes not previously thought possible with custom chip design. S3 Semiconductors has its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with offices worldwide. More information is available at www.s3semi.com.

About S3 Group

S3 Group is an advanced technology group designing and delivering some of the world's most sophisticated solutions into the communications, industrial IOT and connected health industries. Its S3 Semiconductors business unit delivers unique, fully customised mixed signal production devices in low to medium volume to its OEM and ODM customers, while its S3 Connected Health business unit provides hyper-personalized, digitally-enabled behaviour change and support programs that improve patient engagement and healthcare outcomes.

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