CMC and Canada’s National Design Network milestones

2017: Canada’s National Design Network® awarded $7M from the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Major Scientific Initiatives Program.

2015: Canada’s National Design Network® awarded $7.7 M from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for Platform for Advanced Design Leading to Manufacturing in Micro-Nano Technologies (ADEPT), part a $19.3 million project that will advance the research of more than 800 professors at 32 institutions across Canada.

2015: CMC partners with Queen’s University and Innovation Park to establish the Kingston Nano-Fabrication Lab, giving academics and commercial customers access to leading-edge services for creating and testing advanced micro-nano technologies. 

2014: Canada’s National Design Network and CMC achieve the completion of 400 design projects in photonics, including more than 300 projects in silicon photonics.

2012: CMC pilots centralized, cloud-based delivery of a secure virtual work environment, giving network researchers 24-hour, high bandwidth access to tools, resources and support/expertise. Centralized hosting, management and operation of this infrastructure minimizes institutions’ operation and maintenance requirements, resulting in an efficient, cost-effective environment for micro-nano innovation.

2012: CMC Solutions is launched, providing specialized engineering services, in-house expertise and financial assistance for accelerating R&D in new ideas and emerging technologies.

2010: A low-cost subscription model is introduced to optimize the selection and use of design tools and equipment by researchers. This approach enables CMC to better track research results, build relationships with users and continuously monitor/update its offerings and service model.

2009: NDN embarks on a five-year, $50M Embedded Systems Canada project, with a focus on forming complete integrated systems that incorporate multiple technologies (electronic, photonic, mechanical, and fluidic, with embedded intelligence and wireless networked capability – i.e., “smart” technologies).  

2009: CMC and UBC launch the world’s first national, graduate-level course for designing, prototyping and testing nanophotonic integrated circuits (now formalized as the NSERC CREATE Si-EPIC Program at UBC).

2007: CMC establishes DMT Microsystems, providing commercial development assistance to industry and startups.

2005: CMC gives academics in Canada's National Design Network access to highly specialized integration processes for multiple technologies via industrial partners DALSA Semiconductor (Bromont, QC) and CMP (France).  

2005: The NDN's Microelectronics and Photonics Testing Collaboratory breaks new ground by enabling researchers across Canada without physical access to specialized labs to test their technologies remotely. 

2004: CMC retools its offerings and strategic approach to make “microsystems” a core capability of Canada’s National Design Network. This shift anticipates the highly sophisticated, highly integrated “smart systems” of today, and puts Canada and the NDN at the leading edge of this emergent field. From this point on, CMC’s activities grow exponentially, and are more broadly focused on removing barriers to innovation as techniques for multi-technology integration (e.g. incorporating processors, sensors and actuators on one chip) are beginning to emerge.

2001: CMC deploys national System-on-Chip Research Network (SOCRN), the world’s first research program focused on platforms for creating complex, integrated microsystems; and a national Microelectronics and Photonics Testing Collaboratory. By this time Canada was seen as providing a best-in-class infrastructure for university-based microsystems research and training.

1996: CMC launches a low-cost test equipment pool, providing NDN academics with the loan of specialized testing equipment otherwise unavailable/unaffordable to them.

1995: CMC introduces technology roadmapping, an extensive stakeholder consultation and intelligence-gathering process to identify and anticipate emerging technology sectors and emergent industrial needs. This strategic approach ensures that the organization’s tools and support to NDN innovators remain at the leading edge.

1993: CMC creates its own internet-based online repository (CMC Cache), enabling NDN researchers to find equipment and documents, and fostering a ‘virtuous circle’ of knowledge-sharing in support of innovation.

1988: CMC now offers $2M/year worth of commercial design tools at cost-effective academic rates, ensuring that NDN researchers’ and students’ work is leading-edge and compatible with commercial development environments.

1985: CMC begins to distribute design tools to NDN universities; participation in this network grows to 24 universities in nine provinces.

1984: Canada's “National Design Network”, comprising four Canadian universities, is established, with management by the Canadian Microelectronics Corporation (CMC). Pre-internet, CMC establishes its own electronic network for data transfer, with “electronic messaging” system provided by Telecom Canada.