TechCode and Silicon Catalyst have recently partnered to spur advancement in the semiconductor ecosystem through fostering the reach of startup companies. Startups on both sides will benefit, delivering innovative silicon and electronic systems which will be applicable to a variety of industries across the globe.

Below you’ll find a Q&A between ECN, Luke Tang​ from TechCode, and Rick Lazansky from Silicon Catalyst, regarding this announcement.

ECN: What caused this partnership between TechCode and Silicon Catalyst?

Rick Lazansky: We more or less simultaneously recognized that we already were working together very informally—sharing companies, helping each other out at screening events, pitch sessions, judging competitions together, and visiting each other’s startups. Therefore, the partnership seemed like a natural and beneficial fit for each side.

ECN: What can startups bring to the semiconductor and electronic systems industry?

Rick Lazansky: Most public companies, gradually over the past decade, have shortened their time to market to 4-8 quarters. This has thus hurt their ability to focus on long-term developmental goals, which often requires significant research. Internal research and development today largely focuses on short-term and more evolutionary projects, and instead looks to mergers and acquisitions for growth and innovation, respectively. Unfortunately, there has been a dearth of startups over the same period—the number of Seed and Series-A investments is down 80-90 percent.

Luke Tang​: By definition, startups are more "lean" and "agile." This allows startups to respond to trends and new innovations much more quickly than industry incumbents. 

ECN: What specific electronic products will be developed due to this collaboration?

Rick Lazansky: Most of our startups choose to begin privately, taking a page from Apple’s playbook, so we can’t disclose anything too specific. We’re seeing startups in core IP of major interest to foundries, as well as really amazing advances in life sciences diagnostics, assay, and devices, food and water safety, and even a new high performance computer architecture. Of course, we’re seeing a lot of Internet of Things (IoT) and specifically for industrial use (IIoT) as well. 

ECN: What applications will utilize the technology produced by these companies?

Luke Tang​: In addition to the industries listed above, applications in artificial intelligence, smart transportation, and healthcare will be key markets for our startups to build up distribution. 

ECN: How will this partnership effect the future of the semiconductor ecosystem?

Rick Lazansky: We hope we’re returning it to a world full of startups and wonderful new companies, where startups are closely engaged with the strategic companies, advisors, suppliers of IP, EDA, equipment, and services from their inception.

Luke Tang​: Both organizations are focused on commercializing the best technologies that solves real problems. The partnership will help scale that mission.