Defence backs Hendon to bolster semiconductor capabilities


The federal government has moved to bolster Australia’s capabilities in the production of semiconductors announcing the award of a defence Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant to Adelaide- company Hendon Semiconductors.

The $690,000 grant, to be matched by the company, will modernise Hendon’s Hybrid Integrated Circuit (HIC) and Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) production capabilities.

Integrated circuits are critical to all electronic equipment and Hendon is one of a small number of companies which specialise in the design and fabrication of custom semiconductors and integrated circuits.

According to a statement the grant will accelerate delivery of improved production lead times and prototype build quality, strengthening defence innovation in Australia.

Hendon is a subsidiary of Sydney electrical product company Legrand Corporation, which owns a range of manufacturing and mainly distributing companies across industry.

The Executive General Manager for Hendon Semiconductors Brenton Judge said: “I’m thrilled at the opportunity to fast-track Hendon’s modernisation, particularly in relation to our ability to quickly develop quality prototypes without the reliance on overseas partners, strengthening and significantly accelerating innovation in defence and other industries in Australia – something we’re very passionate about.”

Hendon in Adelaide is the site of the former Philips electronics plant, once a major manufacturer across mukltiple electrical and electronics businesses.

In the past it was nurtured by defence as a source of specialised integrated circuits for defence products developed by defence scientists, including those associated with the Woomera rocket range testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

However today the factory is closed and partly occupied by film studios – the story of much historical manufacturing in Adelaide.

According to Hendon Semiconductors, it plans to undertake a Defence Manufacturing Capability Modernisation Project to upgrade its facilities by acquiring advanced manufacturing equipment as well as its sustainment services for the defence sector.

“A total investment of $1.6 million will allow the company to procure and install state of the art equipment including PCB prototyping equipment, flying probe test systems, conformal coating machine, x-ray machine and soldering robots.”

The upgraded facility will be completed in October 2024, though most equipment will be online in in early March.

Picture: Hendon Semiconductors

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