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Xilinx invests in Edinburgh R&D hub to research 5G wireless technologies

Last updated: February 2021

California tech company Xilinx has invested £4.9 million to develop 5G wireless technologies at its R&D facility in Scotland. The USA is Scotland’s top source of inward investment and Xilinx is another example of a leading technology company harnessing our highly educated and skilled workforce.

Tech solutions for 5G networks

5G will revolutionise the way that we communicate. It’s all about securely connecting billions of devices faster to help usher in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), with 1000 times the network capacity for 100 times the number of connected devices and machines. It’s expected that there will be around 50 billion connected IoT devices by 2030 opens in a new window , creating a massive web of interconnected devices spanning everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances.

The technology that Xilinx will be working on in Edinburgh will help solve the capacity, connectivity and performance challenges that 5G presents.

Dr Colin Carruthers, director of Xilinx Scotland, said: "We're very excited to be at the centre of this truly innovative research and development. This is a unique opportunity to define and develop the technologies that will enable next generation wireless communication devices."

Xilinx Scotland - a centre of excellence 

Xilinx is a provider of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). An FPGA is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or designer after manufacturing. With over 3,500 patents and annual revenues of more than £2 billion, Xilinx is an important player in the global tech market.

The company has a long history in Scotland. Xilinx set up in Edinburgh in 1993 after acquiring a spinout from the University of Edinburgh called Algotronix. It was the first research and development (R&D) experience for the company outside of North America. Edinburgh is now an R&D hub for Xilinx, where it employs more than 40 staff.

Xilinx Scotland focuses on semiconductor design, also called chip design. Semiconductors are the ‘brains’ that control different functions within the electronic devices that we use on a daily basis, such as mobile phones, cars and computers.

With this new investment into developing products for future communications systems, Xilinx believes that its Edinburgh R&D centre will become a centre of excellence within the company.

Scotland's talent and connectivity

Xilinx’s success is testament to Scotland’s world-leading highly educated and skilled workforce. With a strong, established and connected business environment, Scotland was the ideal UK location for the company.

The £4.9 million investment includes a £1.01 million R&D grant through Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, and we'll continue to support Xilinx Scotland and its future growth ambitions.

Scotland's tech sector is evolving at pace and taking a leading role in developing the potential of IoT to improve our lives. A £6 million IoT Scotland project led by Boston Networks is putting in place the UK’s most advanced network of its kind.

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