Information and communication technologies
Microelectronics - Embracing innovation


Close to 8,300 people work in the microelectronics industry (2012) in Québec, the majority of whom are employed by ten major players, including IBM, CMC Electronics, Matrox and Teledyne DALSA. The main areas of activity are:

 

Photo of a nanophotonic chip designed by IBM

  • Component assembly for electronic system manufacturing (EMS);
  • Active components or semiconductors;
  • Passive components;
  • Circuit design;
  • Microelectronics testing and production equipment, and chemical products for manufacturing processes;
  • Printed circuit boards.
Company No. of Employees Specialty

Adetel Solution Open a new window

 

90 Onboard electronics design
Averna Technologies Open a new window 225 Global electric and electronic test bench solutions
C-MAC Microcircuits ULC Open a new window 115

Manufacturing semiconductors and other electronic components

Esterline CMC Electronics Open a new window 810

Designing, manufacturing, selling and providing technical support for high-tech electronic products

Excelitas Technologies Open a new window 230 Optoelectronic components and subsystems
Gentec Open a new window 180 Laser measurement devices and technologies
IBM Open a new window 1,500 Assembling and testing flip chips
Matrox Open a new window 500 Imaging solutions
Teledyne Dalsa Open a new window 465 Manufacturing semiconductors using specialized processes such as MEMS
Varitron Technologies Open a new window 215 Electronic manufacturing services

 

Focus on R&D

 

Innovation and R&D are the cornerstones of success in the microelectronics industry. Québec companies excel in both areas, enabling them to meet market needs and keep costs competitive.

 

  • Foreign researchers and specialists can benefit from a five-year provincial income tax exemption.
  • What’s more, its generous tax credits can help businesses cut their R&D expenses.

Founded in 2011 through a unique partnership between the Université de Sherbrooke, Teledyne DALSA and IBM Canada, C2MI is the largest electronics systems R&D centre in Canada and an international hub of innovation. The centre represents an investment of over $220 million. (C2MI Open a new window)

 

With its 750 researchers, C2MI is a crucial link in the North American microelectronics ecosystem, and one of the world’s most important hubs in this field. Its mission is to be the global leader in the packaging of next-generation chips. More specifically, through its work, C2MI aims to

 

  • produce chips (sensors) for electromechanical systems
  • conduct electrical tests of microsystems
  • develop chip-cutting technologies
  • connect chips to innovative packages
  • optimize heat dissipation, and
  • design and manufacture embedded systems (autonomous electromechanical systems).

 

In addition, C2MI serves as a bridge between academic research and the private sector, helping achieve the common goal of manufacturing complex microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

ReSMiQ Open a new windowis a Québec-based microelectronics research centre. It originated in the GRIAO research centre, founded in 1991 by four Montréal institutions: Concordia University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, McGill University and Université de Montréal.

 

  • Today, ReSMiQ represents some 50 researchers and over 480 graduate students from 10 universities.
  • The centre carries out cutting-edge research in systems architecture, digital, analogue and mixed (analogue/digital) circuit and microsystem design, systems testing and verification.
  • Its work focuses on telecommunications, biomedical, RF circuit and signal processing applications.

 

A thriving industrial pole

 

Québec has about a hundred companies specializing in microelectronics and employing a combined total of over 8,300 people. Those companies are located within 100 km of Montreal, near the U.S. border.

 

Map showing the northeastern microelectronics corridor, which includes the cities of Montréal, Sherbrooke and Bromont in Québec, Canada, and extends southwards to Poughkeepsie and Fishkill in New York, in the United States.

  • The Greater Montréal region is one of the leading players in the northeastern microelectronics corridor, a global hub of expertise.
  • Montréal's geographic proximity to the United States is a definite asset for this rapidly expanding industry.
  • The microelectronics industrial pole is home to a large number of companies, including major players such as IBM, Matrox and Teledyne DALSA.

 

 

Booming sectors

 

Québec’s roughly 100 microelectronics companies focus on three main sectors, all related to outsourcing services.

This sector is best known for its R&D on new products for international clients.

 

IBM Open a new window

Located in Bromont, IBM’s Québec plant is the company’s largest semiconductor assembly and testing facility in the world and its only plant in Canada. The facility transforms the world’s most advanced semiconductors into state-of-the-art microelectronic components, including the logic circuits that are the brain for IBM’s Watson systems.

 

Octasic Open a new window

Montréal company Octasic is a global provider of media and wireless baseband processing silicon and software solutions for the converged carrier, enterprise and end-point communication equipment markets.

 

Teledyne DALSA Open a new window

Teledyne DALSA operates the largest silicon foundry in Canada and the fourth-largest independent foundry in the world. The company manufactures integrated circuits in the form of silicon wafers, primarily for combined analogue/digital applications. Teledyne DALSA is also a leading manufacturer of CCD (charge-coupled device) cameras and CMOSs (complementary metal oxide semiconductors).

Manufacturing and inspection processes and systems are behind the major technological strides made in this sector over the past few years.

 

C-MAC Open a new window

C-MAC MicroTechnology is a multinational company that manufactures hybrid circuits, mainly for the energy and automotive markets.

 

Esterline CMC Electronics Open a new window

Esterline CMC Electronics is an international manufacturer of electronic products for the telecommunications, aviation and defence markets. Its Montréal facility specializes in special electronic and hybrid microcircuits, displays and custom manufacturing of complex circuit cards.

 

Excelitas Technologies Open a new window

Excelitas Technologies is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of complex products such as pulsed semiconductor lasers, photonic detectors and hybrid components for preamplifiers.

 

Matrox Open a new window

With 40 years’ experience in designing hardware and software solutions for graphics, video, imaging and machine vision applications, Matrox has earned a reputation as an industry leader.

 

MPB Technologies Open a new window

MPB Technologies conducts leading-edge R&D in the areas of telecommunications, robotics, space and photonics. The company puts its science to work for many international astronomy projects. Among other things, it provided the fibre laser pumps for the most powerful laser guide star system in the world, inaugurated in April 2016 at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.

The companies in this sector manufacture passive circuits and provide electronic component assembly services for such niche applications as custom cables, along with high-value-added components for specialized markets.

 

Gentec Open a new window

Operating in a number of countries, including the United States, Chile and Vietnam, Gentec designs, manufactures and markets custom solutions for its clients. The company specializes in integrated energy management systems and designs battery, modem and Ethernet chargers, data acquisition systems, electric meters, capacitors and charging stations for electric vehicles.

 

Varitron Technologies Open a new window

With close to 25 years’ experience under its belt, Varitron is a leader in Québec's microelectronics industry. The company is recognized for its commitment to excellence and its expertise in manufacturing cutting-edge smart electricity meters.

 

Partnerships pay big dividends!

 

Photo of transportation sectorBy joining forces with manufacturer Varitron Technologies, the French engineering group Adetel Open a new window took another big step in growing its Québec operations. See how Investissement Québec brought these major industry players together to help make it happen!

Read more

 

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Contact your expert

Benoît Larouche

Director, Business Development, New York

212 843-0976