November 9, 2011

Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers is a well-known maverick in the chip business, who played a sizeable role in the solar-power market with a spinoff called SunPower. Now he’s putting his weight behind another startup that is announcing its plans Wednesday after laboring two years in secrecy.

It’s called Deca Technologies, and the goal is to transform the way chips are packaged for use in products such as smartphones and computers.

Packaging is an unglamorous part of the semiconductor business, which typically takes place after the higher-profile operation of processing chips on silicon wafers. After wafers are sawn into individual components, the chips are typically flown off to different facilities where they are encapsulated in plastic and metal modules that can be attached to circuit boards for use in a system.

But there are problems with this standard procedure, Rodgers says, particularly as pressures grow to squeeze components tightly together in portable products.

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