SimpleChips Technology: Semiconductor Solutions for Complex Real-World Applications

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Alain Comeau, Founder, and CEO, SimpleChips TechnologyAlain Comeau, Founder, and CEO
I n the early 1980s, the semiconductor industry was vertically integrated! Semiconductor IDMs (integrated device manufacturers) owned and operated their own manufacturing facilities (Fabs) through an integrated business model: designing, testing, and building the products they sold. In order to manage excess capacity and increase the ROI of the capital-intensive semiconductor manufacturing process, IDMs started offering smaller firms design, manufacturing, and packaging services. This was the start of the outsourcing revolution that we now call the “fabless semiconductor industry.” The new insurgence allowed manufacturers and designers to invest profits into the R&D of new technologies and bring them to market rapidly while maintaining the high production volumes needed to maintain sales.

Alain Comeau, Founder, and CEO of SimpleChips Technology, was still in college when he witnessed this revolution in the semiconductor space. “My bachelor degree was in the form of a cooperative program which involved semesters in college and semesters of work outside. The chance to work early on exposed me to the semiconductor industry and to continue in process integration, gaining understanding of the building blocks used to build the ICs,” says Alain Comeau, Founder and CEO of SimpleChips Technologies.

Having gained expertise in semiconductor manufacturing and design, Comeau, in 2002, founded SimpleChips Technology to leverage the possibilities in the fabless space by developing intellectual property for other companies.
The company ran for almost ten years before re-modeling it in 2015, with the partnership of Stephen Swift, an industry veteran, and former executive Vice-President at Zarlink Semiconductor, to focus on developing and manufacturing Analog and Mixed-Signal ICs.

Today, SimpleChips is a fabless semiconductor specializing in high voltage, optoelectronic, and sensor integrated circuit designs. The company’s deep understanding of the ever demanding high voltage requirements and device physics enabled the development of 1000V mixedsignal semiconductor integrated circuits using standard foundry processes and thereby delivering unparalleled product integration levels.

“We now have a high-side driver capable of driving over 1000V in a single chip with no external component or transformer. It’s all DC coupled, working reasonably fast with half microsecond transitions,” says Comeau.
  • SimpleChips is a fabless semiconductor specializing in high voltage, optoelectronic, and sensor integrated circuit designs.

The Medical Implant market niche gives SimpleChips leverage on the technical side, as these life-sustaining devices are very demanding in terms of target voltage, integration level, and reliability. For instance, SimpleChips solve crucial functions in the Implanted Cardiac Defibrillators (ICD) circuits that all require high voltages between 500 and 1000V.

The company has also developed a Voltage divider circuit allowing high voltage measurements from a low voltage power supply or a low voltage IC. The integrated circuit is capable of sensing voltages in excess of 2000V, which is of great value in the Automotive EV space with vehicles that are moving from 400 to 800V.
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SimpleChips Technology

SimpleChips Technology

Carlsbad, California

Alain Comeau, Founder, and CEO

SimpleChips, is a fabless semiconductor and intellectual property supplier specializing in high voltage, optoelectronic, and sensor integrated circuit designs. SimpleChips applies its deep understanding of process and device physics, mixed-signal semiconductor integrated circuit design to achieve optimum product size, power, and performance goals