Plessey Semiconductors debuts ECG sensor from passive component project

March 5, 2012 — Plessey Semiconductors developed the Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) sensor, optimized for use as an ECG sensor, at a reportedly lower cost and better resolution than conventional electrodes. It enables ECG monitoring in mobile phone applications.

"EPIC is a completely new kind of sensor that detects changes in electric field potential," explained Barry Dennington, Plessey’s COO.

The product was developed as part of the Precision Passive Component Design and Manufacture in Micro Module Electronics project (PPM2), co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board. The Precision Passive Component Design and Manufacture in Micro Module Electronics project encouraged the integration of precision passive components into advanced packaging schemes, improving performance.

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), a UK knowledge-based network for Micro and Nanotechnologies, announced details of the product, developed by UK-based semiconductor manufacturer Plessey, and supports promotion to potential end-users and partners, along with JEMI UK.

Plessey Semiconductors and JEMI UK organized a technical visit to its facilities in Plymouth to disseminate outcomes from the PPM2 project and to launch the EPIC sensor. Delegates discussed opportunities for the UK supply chain and IC manufactures to utilize these techniques in their own devices.

The NanoKTN played a key role in disseminating results from the PPM2 project and encouraged a number of potential end-users for Plessey’s products developed through the program, to attend the event and hear more about the potential benefits. By disseminating the outcomes to key audiences via the NanoKTN’s website and the NanoKTN’s extensive database of contacts, key target audiences were brought together in a personal setting to network and develop business relationships.

"Building relationships and contacts within relevant industries is vital to companies in the early stages of commercial development, enabling them to build connections and to raise their profile nationally and overseas. We hope that by helping to disseminate outcomes from this project, that UK businesses will come together and look at ways of using the intelligence gathered throughout the programme," explained Dr Alec Reader, Director at the NanoKTN.

The NanoKTN’s primary aim is to encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer between key players in industry, as well as start-ups and small/medium enterprises (SMEs). The NanoKTN is dedicated to helping its members understand how to write a successful proposal and identify suitable partnerships for collaborative work. The NanoKTN facilitates the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and research, offering companies dealing in small-scale technology access to information on new processes, patents and funding as well as keeping up-to-date with industry regulation. The four broad areas that the NanoKTN focuses on are: Promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting the growth of UK capabilities, raising awareness of Nanotechnology, and providing thought leadership and input to UK policy and strategy. Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company. Further information about the NanoKTN can be found at

JEMI UK is the Joint Equipment and Materials Initiative; a non-profit organization, representing more than 55 companies and part of a network of organizations throughout Europe. JEMI UK was founded to promote the development of a strong infrastructure to support the growth of companies in the Semiconductor supplier industry, while ensuring that the interests of manufacturers and suppliers within the industry are properly represented.

Plessey Semiconductors develops and manufactures semiconductor products used in sensing, measurement and controls applications.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body that works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector. For more information, please visit

KTNs have been set up by government, industry and academia to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and the science base. The first KTNs were set up in 2005; they are active in sectors, technologies and market-based areas and they interact strongly with the government’s Technology Programme and overall technology strategy.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a UK based technology innovation centre and part of the government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult. CPI offers market and technology expertise along with cutting-edge development assets to help its public and private sector clients build and prototype the next generation of products, processes and services quickly and efficiently, and with minimal risk.


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