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Positioning Sarawak as semiconductor hub

Positioning Sarawak as semiconductor hub

27 Jun 2024

Premier says move will draw investments, see GDP growth

Sarawak has set its sights on establishing itself as a semiconductor highvalue-added hub in Southeast Asia by 2030, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

The Premier said collaborations with United Kingdom companies strategically align with this aspiration which would lead to an increase in investments and the state’s gross domestic product.

Towards realising this, he said Sarawak will unveil its Holistic Sustainability and Circular Economy Strategy by the end of this year to solidify state-owned SMD Semiconductor Sdn Bhd’s position globally and establish new industry standards in sustainable business practices.

“I recently witnessed the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SMD Semiconductor and Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult at the House of Commons in the UK to promote collaboration in the development of advanced semiconductor chips.

“SMD Semiconductor will be setting up a research and development office in the United Kingdom to facilitate its research and commercialisation activities.

“The areas of cooperation and collaboration include the development of new compound semiconductor chips tailored for automotive and space applications,” he said when launching SMD Semiconductor’s chip design centre and academy at La Promenade Mall here yesterday.

He said the MoU also entails talent development initiatives encompassing academic, industry and governmental partnerships spanning the UK, Malaysia and Sarawak in particular, to nurture skilled professionals in the semiconductor sector.

He added that SMD Semiconductor has been granted a 10-acre plot in Samajaya Free Industrial Zone to expand its semiconductor operations, addressing the increasing importance of advanced chip packaging technologies for highperformance semiconductor chips.

“For Sarawak to participate and capture the attention of global industry leaders, SMD Semiconductor must position itself in a region with abundant expertise, vibrant innovation and a substantial market presence.

“It is crucial for the company to assemble a team of extraordinary individuals and top-tier engineers for the development of advanced semiconductor technologies,” he said.

He added that he was supportive of SMD Semiconductor working with i-CATS University College in introducing aerospace modules into the curriculum to pave the way for students to advance their career in the high-tech aerospace industry.

“I hope SMD Semiconductor can collaborate with private partners and collaborate on the research and the development of a Sarawakowned chip to be incorporated into satellites.

“The collaboration will advance our semiconductor technology and significantly elevate Sarawak’s capabilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Dato Sri Roland Sagah Wee Inn said a batch of 15 trainees will conclude their six-month training programme next month as part of a collaboration between SMD Semiconductor and the Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs).

The trainees would then be employed by SMD Semiconductor and its partners with a starting salary of RM4,000 per month, he said.

Sagah highlighted that SMD Semiconductor has grown from just three engineers to its current workforce of 30 engineers, and it is projected to reach 50 engineers by this year-end.

Following the launch of the chip design centre, SMD Semiconductor and the Land and Survey Department inked an MoU for the development of an electronic tracking embedded system.

According to Abang Johari, this collaboration has the potential to drive innovative solutions in various applications, including land marking, land area calculation, slope detection and geo-positioning.

Among those present yesterday were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, SMD Semiconductor chief executive officer Shariman Jamil, and Land and Survey Department director Awang Zamhari Awang Mahmood.

It is crucial… to assemble a team of extraordinary individuals and top-tier engineers for the development of advanced semiconductor technologies.

Source: Borneo Post