83. Paragraf – Simon Thomas

Company: Paragraf

Founder: Simon Thomas

Website: https://www.paragraf.com/

Business: Paragraf produces graphene-based electronic microchips, aiming to create the next generation of semiconductor devices.


About Simon and Paragraf

Paragraf is the first company in the world to mass produce graphene-based electronic microchips. Dr. Simon Thomas, Paragraf’s Founder and CEO, is on a mission to transform the world of semiconductors and he has recruited a talented team of scientists, commercial staff, senior executives and investors to realise his ambitions.

There has been a persistent global shortage of semiconductors, a shortage which relates partly to the pandemic and otherwise due to an imbalance in supply and demand at different technology nodes, dominance of supply by Asia and geopolitical tensions affecting key supply areas like Taiwan and China.

Companies like Paragraf will make the UK more resilient to these difficulties in the future. The UK will have technology leadership and the ability to supply British-made advanced semiconductors and chips made from home-grown graphene.

Graphene is a material for tomorrow’s technology: it has improved performance and capabilities. Current semiconductors are pushing the limits of physics to continue technological advances. Graphene is smaller and more conductive than silicon and graphene-based devices can be faster, less power-hungry and able to operate in more extreme conditions.




Paragraf graphene-based sensors are already used in Quantum computers and are helping map batteries in electric vehicles to improve safety and battery life. Paragraf estimates that in the energy consumption of data centres, graphene can increase computing power by about 100 times at half of the energy consumption.

Simon started this company in 2017 when he was working with Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys at Trinity College, Cambridge and has made tremendous progress to create a multi-million-pound company in a few years.

In 2023, Paragraf will be expanding with the opening of a second site in the Cambridgeshire area. This will allow Paragraf to produce chips at a greater volume, which is required to match commercial demand in key application areas. The company’s first commercial product, a magnetic field sensor, is being designed into applications including quantum computing, electric vehicles and aerospace. Early partners include Rolls-Royce and the CERN research laboratory in Switzerland.

Simon has also been speaking to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on behalf of Paragraf around key issues on semiconductor strategy and British manufacturing. He even brought a Graphene wafer to show MPs at a select committee hearing in July.


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