At the Right Time, in the Right Place, for the Right Markets – Microelectronics Pioneer iC-Haus Celebrates 40th Anniversary

(Image iC-Haus: Dr. Heiner Flocke and Dr. Alexander Flocke)

Microelectronics is the future. In the mid-1980s, semiconductors and integrated circuits in particular were conquering more and more areas of application in communications, data processing and industry. During this early growth phase, Dr. Heiner Flocke and Manfred Herz founded iC-Haus GmbH in Bodenheim near Mainz in 1984 as a manufacturer of iCs and microsystems. In the 40 years of the company’s history, iC-Haus has developed into an internationally renowned player in the semiconductor industry with more than 350 employees and a turnover of more than 100 million euros.

Focusing on Vertical Integration
The company’s success is based on a smart decision regarding its positioning within the microelectronics value chain. Heiner Flocke: “From the very beginning, we have opted for the greatest possible depth of vertical integration for a medium-sized company. With the exception of pure wafer production, we combine all development and production expertise for our own standard iCs and microsystems as well as solutions based on ASiCs, now including wafer processing, assembly and testing. This enables us to deliver chip-based solutions that are individually tailored to our customers’ applications and needs. These are unique miniaturized key components that offer a high degree of integration and are particularly economical and efficient. “

Growth and Global Expansion
This strategy and expertise marked the beginning of a continuous success and growth story. From various niches in customer-specific electronics, iC-Haus has developed into a globally active partner offering innovative microsystems for applications in the industrial domain, robotics, laser and medical technology as well as automotive applications, even in medium quantities. The continuous growth of iC-Haus systematically contributes to the qualitative strengthening of customer relationships: By expanding its human and technological resources, the company guarantees long-term delivery and support capability. Qualities that are of decisive strategic importance when choosing an electronics partner. A special sales model supports this successful expansion: since 1994, the company has been appointing international cooperation partners and reaching international markets such as the USA, Spain and Asia through these globally networked “iC Houses”.

A Well-Positioned Location that’s Growing
iC-Haus has remained loyal to Bodenheim. Heiner Flocke: “Establishing our company in Bodenheim at the edge of the Rhine-Main region has proven to be the right and fortunate decision. With our focus on industrial customers, we are close to our customers in Germany and, here by the Rhine, within close reach of the southern and southwestern German engineering regions. In addition, the proximity to renowned university locations such as Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt and Bingen is important for our human resources work.

In Bodenheim, the progressive growth of iC-Haus was clearly visible in the continued construction activity. The year 1993 marked the first milestone when iC-Haus left the rented premises of the founding phase and started production in its own company building. In 1997, iC-Haus expanded to nearly 4,000 square meters of production and R&D space. In 2006, iC-Haus took another step towards the top of the industry by adding a clean room for chip processing and assembly. In 2012, another milestone was reached with the construction of phase 4 for iC production, testing, logistics and training. Since 2021, 350 people are employed in Bodenheim, after the 5th construction phase for the production expansion has been successfully put into operation in 2019.

Recognition for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Achievement
iC-Haus has received recognition for its outstanding performance not only from its customers. In 2012, founders Dr. Heiner Flocke and Manfred Herz received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Ernst&Young). In the same year, iC-Haus won the AMA Innovation Award for its energy-harvesting iCs. In 2017, the company received the Innovation Award of the State of Rhineland-Palatine for the second time, this time for the introduction of the “EncoderBlue” technology. And in 2023, iC-Haus was named Company of the Year in the Mainz-Bingen district.

In addition to consistent customer orientation, public funding also plays an important role in the innovative strength of iC-Haus. Heiner Flocke: “The projects supported by state and federal funds, such as our reflective encoder iCs and the open-source BiSS Interface for over 600 licensees, have played an important role in helping us achieve a leading global position in selected industrial application areas. The fact that we are also very successful commercially with these innovations ensures that the funds can flow back to us in the form of tax benefits.”

Well Positioned for the Future
Founder Heiner Flocke looks back on 40 years of company history at the Bodenheim site with absolute optimism: “Even in these challenging times, we are very confident about the future. We are a solidly financed company. Our technological expertise, numerous innovations, some of which we have patented, and above all the strong community of our competent and committed employees form a solid foundation for the continued success of iC-Haus. As a typical medium-sized company, we will maintain and further develop these values in a responsible manner. Our carefully prepared reorganization of the management team will also contribute to this. Dr. Alexander Flocke was appointed as an additional Managing Director at the turn of the year 2022/23. He has worked in chip development since 2008, then in applications and sales, and therefore knows the company from many different perspectives. Well positioned in every respect, we are on the starting blocks in 2024 with the development and market launch of new innovative solutions and look forward to further growth. “

Introducing iC-Haus
iC-Haus GmbH is a leading, independent German manufacturer of standard iCs (ASSP) and customized ASiC semiconductor solutions with worldwide representation. The company has been active in the design, production, and sales of application-specific iCs for industrial, automotive, and medical applications for 40 years. The iC-Haus cell libraries in CMOS, bipolar, and BCD technologies are specifically suited to realize the design of sensor, laser/opto, and actuator ASiCs, among others. The iCs are assembled in standard plastic packages or using the iC-Haus chip-on-board technology to manufacture complete microsystems, multichip modules, and optoBGA/QFN in conjunction with sensors.
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