The Wow! factor is alive and well
Kanata North’s pedigree, talent are driving semiconductor success
Kanata North remains on the cutting edge when it comes to the next generation of semiconductor technologies. And why wouldn’t it be? That pedigree is rich and runs deep, all the way back to Bell Northern Research and the old Mitel Networks.
Take GaN Systems, co-founded eight years ago by CTO John Roberts and President Girvan Patterson. Their resumes, and those of others on the management team, are a who’s who of the big local names in the industry through the ’90s and the 2000s.
That’s no accident. GaN’s potentially game-changing gallium nitride switching and power conversion portfolio was prototyped in the National Research Council of Canada’s own test foundry acquired from Nortel Networks. When it came time to build and expand GaN’s team, the founders had no problem finding a great pool of proven local talent from which to draw.
Heritage of the area
But it isn’t just talent – a corporate culture that fosters open creativity has also carried over from those old days.
“That’s a heritage of the technology sector here that’s still alive and well,” Patterson said.
Sidense Corp. is another thriving player that’s taken advantage of creative culture and talent to grow its global clout in the vast market for embedded non-volatile memory. Its team pedigree includes Chipworks, MOSAID Technologies, Mitel Networks and ATMOS Corp. The company has been snapping up good memory people wherever it can find them.
“If you’re a good circuit designer, you’re going to find employment here,” said Tomasz Wojcicki, VP of Customer Engineering Support.
Even semiconductor multinationals that set up shop in Kanata North are looking for more than just another satellite office. They’re looking for a specialized local team to tackle hard problems no one else can.
Take Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited. TSMC has grown over the past two decades from a startup in chip manufacturing into the world’s largest independent foundry. Roughly half of the chips found in mobile phones today are manufactured at TSMC.
TSMC’s Ottawa team works on next-generation memory compilers, high-speed interconnects, and perhaps most impressive of all, test systems that are embedded on the chip itself.
“We have here one of the top groups in the world that is working on stuff that no one else has ever seen,” said Cormac O’Connell, Director of TSMC’s Ottawa Design Centre. “We’re literally doing rocket science here.”
Learn more about why Kanata North is fertile ground in which to grow successful companies and find great talent, from semiconductors to software-as-a-service, at www.serioustechliveshere.com