Feel the texture of a garment by flicking the screen of your mobile device while you shop online. Pure fiction, you will say. Not for long. This is the kind of revolution that will allow the technological breakthroughs of Boreas, a young company of Bromont specializing in semiconductors. The company’s flagship product, an innovative, hyper-efficient electronic control module, will be launched on October 9th, marking a new milestone in its ascent.
Pushing the boundaries of technology is the leitmotiv of Boreas founder and president, Simon Chaput. His young company, established in Bromont’s Science park, is poised to compete with giants of the effervescent integrated electronic circuits industry. “We want to become a world-class company and we have the strengths to get there,” says the businessman.
These major strengths are in fact built around an integrated circuit, the BOS1901, which has hitherto been unequalled in the market. According to the leader of Boreas, this electronic actuator control module. Specialized (piezoelectric for insiders) is six times faster than the competition while consuming ten times less energy. This innovation finds many ramifications in the sphere of haptic features (interface by Touch).
Within a few days, Boreas’s patented products, presented to some multinational companies to date through confidentiality agreements, will be available to businesses across the globe. It should be noted that the young company has an exclusive marketing licence. The markets are exponential, ranging from watches and cell phones connected, to virtual and augmented reality equipment, video games, and then the automotive industry. In the Mobile world, the integration of the BOS1901 would allow, among other things, to remove all the external buttons (volume, power off), cite in example Simon Chaput. These would then be replaced by haptic applications giving the sensation of relief on the touch screen via a vibration mode to locate them, thus increasing the reliability of the devices.
The Boreas project was born in 2015. Simon Chaput was a PhD student at the
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the prestigious Harvard University. His research subject, the control of electronic actuators, has caused his entrepreneurial fiber to germinate. “I knew I had developed something unique with great potential,” he argues. Finding the right place and the team to bring his idea a step further and ultimately to market the fruits was however a daunting challenge.
The Boreas project was born in 2015. Simon Chaput was a PhD student at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the prestigious Harvard University. His research subject, the control of electronic actuators, has caused his entrepreneurial fiber to germinate. “I knew I had developed something unique with great potential,” he argues.
Finding the right place and the team to bring his idea a step further and ultimately to market the fruits was however a dauting challenge.
However, the becoming entrepreneur had worked for two years at Teledyne Dalsa in Bromont, a semiconductor specialist, during his master’s degree at the Université de Sherbrooke. A return to the sources was therefore quickly profiled, despite some apprehensions of his relatives. “When I decided to come back to Quebec to start my business, several Americans I used to meet in Boston told me that I was a little crazy to leave the United States,” says Simon Chaput. But it wasn’t enough to make me change my mind. I knew the quality of the specialized workforce at home. »
In a few months, the young engineer managed to form a strong multidisciplinary team, whose core is made up of former employees of Teledyne Dalsa. But there was a headquarters. Simon Chaput turned to the microelectronics research Centre in Bromont (C2MI), an ecosystem with access to office space and a multitude of laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment. In fact, Teledyne Dalsa, IBM and the Université de Sherbrooke are partners of the organization. “Really, the C2MI was a springboard for Boreas,” mentions its founder.
Getting started in business can make you dizzy, among other things when it comes to getting the funding you need. In the case of Boreas, we are talking about an overall budget of 5.2 million. «Tie the project really made me go through a rollercoaster of emotions. We had to knock on several doors, “concedes Simon Chaput.
In this regard, the young company has just received support from Ottawa. In order to support Boreas in the commercialization of its products, the Department of Innovation, Science and economic Development awarded the company, on October 3, nearly $2 million, through development technology Sustainable Canada, a foundation created by the federal government.
If everything goes as planned, Boreas should leave the C2MI within a year. Now, there’s no turning the heels in Bromont. “I really like the area and I want to stay there. Our headquarters will always remain here in the science park, says the president.
The company currently employs eight full-time employees, as well as three trainees. The company’s workforce is expected to triple over the next two years, says Simon Chaput. It aims to reach a hundred employees when the company is at maturity
Text of Jean-François Guillet
La Voix de L’Est, October 6th, 2018