November 9, 2011

San Jose-based Cypress Semiconductor announced Wednesday it has launched a subsidiary aimed at radically transforming the way tiny computer chips for the booming smartphone and tablet market are packaged.

Deca Technologies, a startup that has labored in “stealth” mode for two years, operates as an independent entity within Cypress’s Emerging Technologies Division. Cypress has invested $35 million in the company, and Cypress CEO T.J. Rodgers is chairman of Deca’s board of directors.

Packaging is an often overlooked but key part of the semiconductor business that involves encapsulating chips in plastic or metal so they can be attached to circuit boards. Deca — the word is Greek for “10” — says it can dramatically reduce the time and money it takes to do packaging by borrowing from the manufacturing expertise of the solar industry.

Deca founder and CEO Tim Olson, a veteran of Motorola and Amkor Technologies, served on Cypress’s technical advisory board for over a decade. The company’s first product is wafer level chip scale packaging, a booming industry as mobile phone and tablet makers seek to cram more features and applications into smaller and thinner devices. A wafer is a thin slice of semiconductor material used in the fabrication of integrated circuits.

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