UPDATE from University Tech Park | Early Summer 2015

SPOTLIGHT on: Sigenics, Inc.

Powering innovation in avionics, med tech and more

Integrated circuits drive just about everything in our world, from the everyday to the truly remarkable. The 15-member team at  Sigenics, Inc. creates custom circuits that are essential to both. 

       Founded in 2000 by partners  Phil Troyk, Douglas Kerns and Glenn DeMichele, the company moved to University Technology Park in 2005, leasing more space in 2007 as demand for its application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) grew. A second lab in Irwindale, California operates under Kerns' direction.

Sigenics engineers design private-label ASICs for use in industrial, military, biomedical, aerospace and other industries. Working seamlessly with client-side engineering teams, they create unique circuitry that can replace obsolete parts, duplicate pre-existing ones or power entirely new systems and technologies.


Custom circuits for the #1 avionics leader


Sigenics' early growth was fueled in part by SBIR grants focused on new concepts in neural engineering, a field of expertise its founding partners shared. But as their business took shape, they found fresh opportunities. 

       Kerns' earlier work with the Jet Propulsion Labs and DeMichele's experience with Rockwell/Collins Avionics laid the groundwork for Sigenics' first big commercial contract with Data Device Corporation (DDC) of New York, a leading supplier of data bus, motion control and solid-state power controller products for the aviation industry.

       Today, custom chips from Sigenics power communications for the on-board flight systems in many new aircraft made by Boeing and Airbus, Troyk reports. 

       The wafers are manufactured in silicon foundries in the U.S. and overseas. Testing and other final steps take place in Sigenics labs before finished circuits are shipped to DDC.


Contributing to med tech breakthroughs


Contracts with DDC and other industry leaders have made Sigenics a $2.5 million company that has grown without taking on debt. The company will ship an estimated 250,000 circuits to its primary clients in 2015, Troyk estimates. 

       "We've aimed for consistent profitability, which gives us the flexibility to do engineering work for other innovators, many of whom are med tech pioneers," he says. 

       For example, Sigenics engineers created the circuits for an implantable device that helps restore mobility and functioning for military vets and others who've lost limbs. 

       "The device senses muscle impulses in the residual limb, which lets amputees direct prosthetic limbs naturally through the brain," he says. This lab video shows how it works. 


The team also created circuits for a groundbreaking implant that offers quick relief for migraine sufferers. 

       "When users feel a headache coming on, they hold a special transmitter near the face," says Troyk. An implanted device situated in the cheek area directs pain-relieving electrical stimulation. The technology has earned a CE mark in Europe and is now being tested in the U.S.


At the crossroads of business and research


Continued growth will come from expanding production on behalf of major clients, but Sigenics principals will reserve some capacity to help startup founders like themselves who are developing new technologies.

       "Engineering projects of this kind don't create big revenue up front, but they can contribute a lot of good to the world," Troyk says. "In the long run, we believe that's good business for us." 




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