As semiconductor shortages idled factories around the world in May, two Toronto chip companies got their unicorn horns. Canadian software startups have had most of the attention in recent decades, but the investments were another sign of a resurgent hardware sector. “That’s very [typical] of semi—everybody’s under the radar until they’re not,” said Melissa Chee, CEO of Markham, Ont.-based tech hub VentureLab and a former hardware executive.
A 200-millimetre silicon wafer in a lithography scanner at the X-Fab Silicon Foundries SE semiconductor plant in Corbeil-Essonnes, France in June 2021. Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images