Freescale moves back to Scotland for R&D

Chip giant Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its research and development efforts with the opening of a new facility in Scotland's East Kilbride.

The company, which is best known for its i.MX series of ARM-based system-on-chip designs and the QorIQ range of Power-based processors, will be concentrating on the growing market of in-car computing systems using Freescale microcontroller technology.

"It represents a major commitment for the East Kilbride facility for the foreseeable future," Freescale's Martin Burns told Electronics Weekly of the announcement of an overall £1.2 million investment in the new facility.

For Freescale, the move to East Kilbride is something of a homecoming: the facility which will be home to the new R&D labs was built in 1969 by Motorola, Freescale's parent company from which it split in 2004 to go it alone.

Originally used as a manufacturing plant, Freescale closed the facility down in 2009, but is clearly hoping that a cash injection plus the promise of around 170 jobs will help convince the locals that bygones should be bygones.

The new facility will also feature close ties with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow on microprocessor and automotive research projects, the company has confirmed.