Brazil Starts a Chip Industry

An RFID for cattle is its first semiconductor manufacturing venture

4 min read

In the coming decade, Brazil wants to be known for integrated circuits, not just Ipanema. The country hopes to produce silicon chips alongside soybeans. Its attempt to do so will begin in January, when production is completed on the first batch of locally designed and produced RFID chips at the government-run National Centre for Advanced Electronic Technology, known by its Portuguese acronym, Ceitec.

Working with X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries, based in Erfurt, Germany, Ceitec expects to have approximately one million chips ready for market next month. Dubbed the Chip do Boi ("bull chip"), the low-frequency (134.2-kilohertz) RFID series will be used in Brazil's cattle industry to track roaming livestock and gather data on the deforestation they cause in the country's vast Amazon region.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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