Micron sees growing demand in niche tech products in Malaysia
10 Aug 2020
Micron Technology Inc, a US-headquartered industry leader in memory and storage solution, sees increasing demand for certain tech products and services in Malaysia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice president of Micron Malaysia Backend Assembly and Test Operations Amarjit Sandhu told Bernama there has been a mixed bag of demand for semiconductors used in the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector during the pandemic and nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO).
The demand for E&E products such as laptops, personal computers (PCs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) have increased, alongside the increasing demand for services such as gaming, infotainment and networking.
“When the MCO (was about to take effect), people have been queueing up at computer stores to get PCs and laptops to prepare themselves for work and study, as well as for entertainment,” he said.
The demand for automotive, meanwhile, have decreased due to the restricted movement and the necessity for private vehicles during the MCO, he added.
Amarjit explained that Micron is also involved in the manufacturing of components to store and process data for the automotive sector, which are used in functionality such as infotainment, communications, Advanced Driver Assistant and powertrain control systems.
“Normally, people would consider purchasing vehicles during auto shows and expos, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hits, there’s no such events and it’s unlikely for people to consider buying vehicles online,” he said.
Amarjit predicted that the demand for semiconductors components in the E&E sector would continue to rise in the future alongside the emergence of the 5G network nationwide.
“As businesses in Malaysia are going through digital transformation, they would need these products now more than ever.
“Hence, we believe that Micron Technology has been on the right track on its investment to set up a new facility in Penang,” he added.
In November 2018, Micron said it would invest RM1.5 billion up to 2023 to set up a new centre of excellence for SSD assembly and test in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, which was expected to employ 1,000 high-value workers upon completion.
Amarjit said the construction of the facility on 21.29 hectares of land is expected to be completed by January 2021.
“Once the construction of the new facility is completed, we will consolidate all our activities from the facility in Seberang Perai to the new facility (in Batu Kawan),” he said.
No future plans have been made yet for the Seberang Perai site after the consolidation.
Meanwhile, he said Micron is ‘well ahead of the curve’ and has taken proactive preparations to protect the company against COVID-19.
“We have quickly implemented all the learnings we had from the past pandemic, which is SARS. Before the MCO took place, Micron had taken proactive measures to mitigate any potential COVID-19 impact ever since we heard the full lockdown in Wuhan, China.”
During a site visit at Micron’s facility in Seberang Perai, it was found that employees were ‘segregated’ and grouped based on the colour of their employee tags to reduce team risk of exposure.
Offices, meeting rooms and toilets were also tagged with different colours, indicating that the facilities are only limited to the employees with the same coloured employee tags.
Amarjit said this was part of the Micron’s pandemic emergency preparedness plan (PEPP) and workplace readiness plan’s safety protocols.
“At the moment, the facilities here in Penang and Muar are at Level 2 of PEPP, in which workers can gradually return to their workplace but will be required to practise one-metre physical distancing while decontamination protocols will be held twice a day,” he added.