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SiPearl develops the microprocessor for the European supercomputer

Philippe Notton is the happy owner of SiPearl, a very prominent start-up in the European digital ecosystem. Indeed, SiPearl is developing the microprocessor for the future European supercomputer. The stakes are colossal, both from a scientific and strategic point of view.

The complexity of the project (new processor, 6 nm engraving) and the diversity of the R&D websites are criteria that favor SiPearl. Attracting the best engineers requires both attractive working conditions and a project as exciting as the one proposed by SiPearl.

A marketing idea to keep in mind

A market can be created ex-nihilo by the simple will of the supranational power that allocates a budget. The European Commission launched a call for tender for the creation of a supercomputer. The budget allocated has allowed a new generation of entrepreneurs to emerge in Europe.


Chapter 1: SiPearl in 1 figure

17,5 million euros.

This amount corresponds to the start-up’s award for participating in an innovation competition specialized in European Deep Tech companies.

Chapter 2: the genesis of the business idea

The genesis of the business idea was a lengthy process. The convergence of Philippe’s passion for microprocessors, a call for tenders from the European Commission, and his personal journey led to the creation of SiPearl.

Chapter 3: the confirmation of the business idea

It’s obvious: the need for computing is ever-increasing, and the demand for ever more powerful microprocessors is a fundamental trend. However, the question remains whether a European start-up will be able to compete with the American and Asian giants.

The call for tenders launched by Europe, backed by a large budget, creates a de facto local market and confirms the business idea. As Philippe summarizes it well: it was a “no brainer.”

Microprocessors capture more than 50% of the semiconductor market, worth more than $200 billion per year.

Chapter 4: getting started

The start-up materialized as part of the European tender. SiPearl was founded in 2019 and hired its first employees a year later.
Today, the start-up has 75 employees and intends to double its workforce.

Why is a European supercomputer essential?

The demand for supercomputers is exploding (scientific research, vaccines, etc.). Europe consumes 30% of the world’s computing power but only provides 5%. There is, therefore, a deficit and a risk of blocking European research if access to foreign supercomputers is blocked. Competition is no longer limited to the States since some companies invest in “private” supercomputers.

Chapter 5: take off

SiPearl is currently in the midst of its take-off phase. The workforce has grown significantly over the past 12 months. The number of employees is expected to quadruple between March 2021 and March 2022.

The current challenge for the start-up is to recruit the best profiles in a market with a shortage of human resources. SiPearl is fortunate to be able to offer several compelling arguments to candidates:

  • The deployment of 4 R&D websites in France, Germany, and Spain gives everyone the possibility to choose the place of work that suits them best
  • The technological challenge associated with the development of a 6 nm microprocessor
  • The opportunity to participate in a strategic project for Europe’s digital sovereignty

Chapter 6: the future

SiPearl wants to bring its microprocessor to market in one year, with the first deployments in two years.
The start-up also hopes to develop the next generation of the microprocessor in 3 years and eventually become the reference for complex digital components in Europe.

In terms of headcount, Philippe is aiming for 1,000 people by 2025, 80 to 85% of whom will be engineers.

A podcast to help you develop your start-up

The “Entrepreneurship and Marketing” podcast traces the different stages in the life of a promising start-up. By identifying the critical elements of success at each phase of the start-up’s development, we help you find solutions for your company.

The podcast is divided into chapters of 4 to 6 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only a part of it by directly selecting the one that interests you the most. You can also find the video version of the interview on our YouTube channel.

Illustration images: Shutterstock


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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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