Bridging the Talent Gap in Flanders’ Semiconductor Industry

Sofics supports this initiative and donates time and resources for the course on analog layout


Belgium, November 28, 2023 – In response to the critical shortage of skilled engineers in semiconductor Integrated Circuit (IC) design and layout, a new initiative has been launched by Professor Patrick Reynaert of KU Leuven in collaboration with several leading semiconductor companies in Flanders, Belgium, including Sofics.



Flanders, renowned for the prestigious research center imec, boasts a myriad of commercial enterprises at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. These companies play pivotal roles in various electronic applications, spanning automotive, medical, industrial, consumer, data center, optical, and space industries. Despite their ambitious growth plans, the semiconductor industry, also in Flanders, faces a significant hurdle – a shortage of qualified engineers in IC design and layout.


“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort to cultivate the next generation of chip designers,”

Koen Verhaege, Sofics CEO


To address this challenge head-on, Professor Reynaert’s recent initiative introduces three comprehensive courses designed to coach individuals into proficient ‘chip designers’. This program provides students with specialized skills essential for semiconductor industry roles.


Crucially, the courses are not just theoretically driven; they are developed and taught by seasoned experts from Flanders’ leading semiconductor companies. Participating firms include BelGan, Caeleste, Cyient, easics, iCana, ICsense, imec, Melexis, Omnivision, and Sofics. This collaboration ensures that students gain practical insights, real-world perspectives, and industry-specific knowledge directly from those shaping the landscape.


“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort to cultivate the next generation of chip designers,” said Koen Verhaege, CEO of Sofics. “It can help to bridge the skills gap, enabling semiconductor companies in Flanders to thrive and achieve their growth aspirations.”


We encourage prospective students to enroll and embark on a journey towards becoming the future leaders of semiconductor design. For more information about the courses and enrollment details, please visit https://www.esat.kuleuven.be/mc_chips.

About Sofics


Sofics (https://linktr.ee/sofics) stands for “Solutions for ICs.” Sofics is an IP provider with a track record in delivering on-chip robustness for ESD, EOS and EMC with an extensive patent portfolio, proven on more than 50 processes. More than 100 licensees routinely integrate Sofics IP into their IC products. Thanks to close cooperation with several leading semiconductor companies, more than 5000 mass-produced ICs are protected by Sofics ESD solutions.

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