EnSIlica returns to Bristol with design centre

October 19, 2022 by
Filed under: News 

EnSilica is returning to Bristol with a new design centre in Bristol following a deal with Blu Wireless Technologies

The company previously had a mixed signal design centre in the city set up in 2015 before moving to the HQ at Oxford.

The company increased its headcount from an average of 96 in 2021 to 117 this year. This includes six members of the ASIC implementation team from Blu Wireless following a deal in July. That deal included non-core IP from Blu Wireless on the design flow and an on-going partnership.

The plan is to expand EnSilica’s offering through consolidation and vertical integration says Ian Lankshear, CEO of EnSIlica and staffing is key with competition for chip designers from companies such as Codasip, SiFive and Imagination Technologies.

“2022 has been a truly transformational year for our business as we seek to further capitalise on what we believe is a sizable market opportunity for EnSilica. The Company has started FY23 well, supported by existing contracts and ongoing new business momentum,” said Lankshear.

The company has also signed a deal to supply industrial ASICs worth over US$30 million over seven years. This follows production of its first automotive ASIC after the launch of a new flagship vehicle by a premium automotive company. It is also developing an ASIC for a satellite network from AST to deliver 5G from space. 

“The move from consultancy to focusing on ASIC design and supply embeds EnSilica further within the electronics value chain,” said Lankshear. “ASIC customers pay an upfront fee towards the costs of design, tooling and test development of the ASIC, the NRE. Customers subsequently purchase the ASICs that EnSilica supplies or, in some cases, pay royalties to EnSilica for the ASICs that a third party will manufacture on the customer’s behalf.”

“EnSilica often co-invests in the development of ASICs with the customer and depending on the sector, it takes two to five years to reach full production. At the production stage, revenues can be high, last several years and generate gross margins circa 35% to 60% range. The gross margin will depend on the market and the level of co-founding funding of the NRE required,” he said.

“Therefore, part of EnSilica’s expertise is in assessing whether to proceed and invest in a particular IC project resulting in long-term component supply or royalty revenue for the Company.”

“The IPO was the culmination of a tremendous period of organisational and operational change for our business, which is ultimately centred on further capitalising on a sizeable growth opportunity within the semiconductor industry,” said Mark Hodgkins, executive chair of EnSilica.

“In this time of disruption of the labour markets and steep labour cost rises, attracting new employees and retaining existing ones is a key focus of our executive team,” said Hodgkins. “This is evidenced with the hiring of our ASIC implementation team, comprising of six skilled engineers from Blu Wireless earlier this year. The new team will be located in EnSilica’s new Bristol facility, which we believe will form a strong platform to further attract talent in the Bristol area.”

The company has also added semiconductor executive Noel Hurley to its board. Hurley, a former ARM executive, is a non -executive director at Blue Wireless and former CEO of Yellow Dog in Bristol.



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