Delivering Complex IC Designs since 2002

For many years Sondrel has been known for delivering quality highly complex IC designs to fabless and systems companies worldwide.  Our designs have appeared in hundreds of leading-edge products including those of the market leaders in mobile phones, cameras, security systems, AR/VR systems, network switches and routers, and many more.

Operating from our design centres in UK, France, Morocco, China and India, our clients engage with us from concept all the way to production silicon, or use individually tailored specialist services. Our success is based on our knowledge of how to get the most out of silicon, and how to get it to market reliably, on time and at the right price.

Whether it’s a rework of an existing design, or a totally new product, our clients associate Sondrel with excellence, creativity, and flair.

Explore the profiles of our Executive Team

Nigel Vaughan


Nigel has 30 years' experience at Board level in innovative businesses (UK plc, US multinational, investor backed enterprises & German Group). He has performed company turnarounds, acquisitions and change management to maximise shareholder value.

Nigel's hands-on approach and team-development skills ensure rapid contribution to new and complex situations, and with his extensive investor experience in both institutional (Venture Capital) and private investor (Business Angel) communities he brings a wealth of experience to Sondrel.

Nigel advises the boards of a number of other successful companies. He also assists high-growth-potential new ventures to optimise their strategy and secure investment.

Graham Curren


Graham Curren founded Sondrel, a privately financed, independent IC services company in late 2002. Sondrel operates from offices in the UK, France, India, Morocco and China, and provides leading-edge design services to many of the top global semiconductor companies, and start-ups. Sondrel is a winner of the UK Queen's Award for Enterprise, and in 2010, Graham accompanied the UK Prime Minister on his visit to China as a member of his business delegation and is a director of the China Britain Business Council ( He is a regular speaker on international trade panels.

Kevin Steptoe

VP of Engineering

Kevin has been instrumental in the start and success of some of the most prominent names in the electronic design automation businesses (EDA) in Europe. These include: Cadence Design System, Chronologic Simulation, Avant!, Magma Design Automation. He has held a variety of general management and executive roles: sales, marketing, product development, application engineering management. Kevin combines this with considerable international experience of managing large sales support teams and customer success across the world including Japan, Asia, China India and USA.

John Tinson

VP Global Sales

John has operated for 20 years at director level in fast growing B2B technology companies, specialising in building sales and marketing teams to deliver rapid growth and to create a scalable structure.

John joined Sondrel from SPI Lasers, where his commercial team helped take the university spin-out from first prototypes to a £50M enterprise, with 40% of its sales in China, enabling a successful trade sale to the TRUMPF Group.

Previous careers in telecommunications and optical component technology were characterised by similar high growth and dynamic business environments. John has led both organic and acquisition focussed growth, focusing always on building effective teams and applying the latest tools. Prior to reaching director level John worked in international sales at various times covering all the main regions of the world.

John entered industry with Thorn EMI following completion of a Physics Degree at Birmingham University. Whilst with Novar Plc he completed an IMD Business Leadership course at Cranfield University.

Lee Thomas


Lee comes to Sondrel with over 20 years' experience running finance and operations teams for multi-national businesses. Having spent many years working for a large US headquartered global business, Lee brings experience in focussing businesses to make operational improvements in order to drive both revenue and profit growth. He is also experienced in acquisitions and disposals, and entry into new geographic markets to increase shareholder value.

In his most recent role as Group Finance Director he managed a team of controllers covering EMEA, India, China and the US. Lee is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).


Sondrel was founded in 2002, and our first office was opened in the UK. Year on year we have grown, and now have an international network of design centres. 

Sondrel Theale, UK 
Sondrel Xi'an, China
A summary of our story so far

Engineer Scope

The Sondrel engineering team is made up of specialists that can manage client engagements from the concept stage through to silicon bring-up.

Phase 1


  • Market Requirements
  • & Specifications

Phase 2


  • Feasibility Studies
  • Project Management Plan
  • HW/SW Architecture Design
  • Engineering Specs.
  • Source IP
  • Foundry Choice

Phase 3


  • RTL Design
  • Verification
  • DfT
  • Physical Design
  • Design Environment
  • Packaging Design
  • Software Development
  • Tapeout to Fab.

Phase 4


  • HW/SW Bring-up
  • Design Validation
  • Performance Characterisation
  • Industrialisation (PE/TE)

Phase 5

Product & Delivery

Foundries: TSMC, GF, TowerJazz, UMC, SMIC, STMicro

  • Mass Production
  • Quality / Yield
  • Logistics
  • Customer Satisfaction


At the heart of Sondrel’s business model is the belief in building, maintaining and growing partnerships. We would like to thank our partners below for their on-going support.

Explore our partner page