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Synergy Quantum slides into semiconductors, adds STMicro vet as COO

By Dan O'Shea posted 08 Feb 2022

Switzerland-based Synergy Quantum, best known for Post-Quantum Encryption (PQE) technology, is entering the semiconductor business, and also has hired a longtime veteran of that sector as COO to help lead the effort.

Synergy is entering the designing and packaging of semiconductors with secure PQE with a particular focus on delivering better protection to the Internet of Things market. With that move, Manu Khullar, who has 29 years of semiconductor experience working as group head for fellow Swiss firm STMicroelectronics, has been named COO of Synergy Quantum SA. Khullar also previously served as CIO of STMicroelectronics.

Jay Oberai, CEO and Founder of Synergy Quantum, said in a statement, “With the advent of large scale digital communications, the rollout of 5G is enabling a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. IoT will become an integral part of everything we do. The security around IoT is minimal and we see a substantial market for secure chips in digital security applications (the design and packaging of integrated security platforms for RoT, microcontrollers, NFCs, secure smart cards, IoT, Blockchain and AI.)” 

Oberai said of Khullar, “Manu’s vast experience in managing complex IT projects within the industry will help for the development of silicon chips with embedded PQE. We look forward to adding teams and buying businesses in this very exciting space.”

That last sentence sure makes it sound like Synergy Quantum is bent on becoming a force in semiconductors with post-quantum security capabilities, and is ready to invest in order to make it happen. It’s trying to do so at a time when much of the semiconductor industry still finds itself mired in a materials shortage and other lingering supply chain constraints. Many of these companies have sought to engage chip-making foundries in long-term guaranteed contracts in an attempt to keep pace with demand, and some have invested in new foundries and manufacturing sites, although most of these sites won’t come online until next year and may not have an immediate effect on stemming the shortage.

Synergy Quantum with scientists at Swiss nuclear research institute CERN to develop its technology, through investments in quantum companies and collaboration with national science and defense ministries, the company stated, adding that it provides “highly secure communication platforms including mobile application and data storage platforms. Its clients are governments and companies that are seeking to protect both their private and confidential data whilst facilitating internal communication.” Before this, Synergy was last heard from in December, when it signed a contract with the Quantum Technology Hub of the Indian government.

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