SAN FRANCISCOA Brazilian application-specific standard product (ASSP) vendor has produced a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip said to be the first IC entirely designed in that country.
The company, Ceitec S.A.,
said it now plans to manufacture the chip at its fab in Porto Alegre, in Southern Brazil.
The initial application of the Chip de Boi RFID device is for cattle identification in Brazil's agribusiness market, Ceitec said. The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais recently launched the first field trials of the device, the final step before production, the company said.
"Once production of these designs begins at our manufacturing facility, these chips will reduce the county's dependence on semiconductor imports and establish opportunities for the country's top engineers," said Eduard Weichselbaumer, Ceitec's CEO, in a statement.
Brazil has for several years been working toward the establishment of a domestic IC industry, but has met with some setbacks. Critics have charged that the country has outdated technology, an unclear business model and a domestic market too small to create a competitive chip industry. Questions about about recruiting and retaining engineers have also been raised.
But over the summer, Ceitec opened an IC design center in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The facility was billed by Ceitec as Latin America's first IC design center, though other design centers exist in the region. Freescale Semiconductor, for example, has maintained a design center in Brazil since 1998.
Ceitec, established in 2008, has been funded with $220 million from the Brazilian governmnet. A spokesperson for the firm said it recently spun out from governement control.