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IMI, PSi forge partnership aimed at power market

Posted: 08 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Integrated Microelectronics? IMI? PSi Technologies? electronic manufacturing service? EMS?

Tan: This agreement will give us access to PSi's high-value components for our power-supply business And that's where we see the synergy betweeen the two companies happening.

Philippines-based Integrated Microelectronics Inc. (IMI) and PSi Technologies Inc. recently announced an agreement to leverage the two companies' engineering capabilities and promote the Philippine brand in the global power market. The alliance will combine IMI's electronic manufacturing service (EMS) expertise with PSi's power semiconductor assembly and test services to provide total turnkey power solutions from beginning to end from the Philippines.

"Since IMI is primarily an EMS company, we have strategically formed an alliance with PSi so that, in the event that a customer requires not only that company's capability in providing power components, we can also provide a streamlined supply value chain in building the product for them," said Arthur Tan, president and CEO of IMI.

IMI's merger last year with Singapore-based Speedy-Tech Electronics Ltd added the latter's capabilities in design, development and manufacturing of power electronics products based on customer requirements to IMI's existing resources. "Speedy-Tech's business is primarily in the ODM part of power supplies. Now we will also upstream our power products to PSi. This agreement will give us access to PSi's high-value components for our power-supply business And that's where we see the synergy betweeen the two companies happening," Tan said.

Under the agreement, IMI plans to refer to PSi its customers that require power IC assembly and test services; Arthur Young, chairman and CEO of PSi, added that PSi will do as much for IMI. "A lot of the stuff we build ends up in China and other countries in the region, and we certainly hope we can drive business to IMI from our end-customers, since they do manufacture end-products and certain IMI facilities have the capability to do that. That's one major driver of why we'd like to work together," he said.

Power opportunities
Currently, IMI manufactures customized, large-scale, industrial power supplies for office equipment and automotive applications, but Tan said that the company would eventually want to go into smart power in consumer electronics devices. He feels that PSi's cooperation will be a major factor in attaining this goal, although he admits that IMI will have to beef up its engineering resources before that can happen.

"For IMI to take that next step to smart power, these added resources will probably have to come from the United States or Japan, since they're the two major sources of new technology. IMI already has offices in both these countries, so having access to the technology will be easier," said Tan.

Another opportunity the two companies can pull their weight in is the automotive market, which is growing at an accelerated rate as more and more mechanical components go electronic. Both IMI and PSi have Bosch-certified facilities, so "this is an opportunity for us in terms of making bigger component subsystems for automotive," said Young. "Our companies can grow together in the automotive segment of the market."

'Brand Philippines'
Young said that the two companies are in complementary fields of the power business, and that it was very important for them to pool their resources to promote more growth for the Philippine electronics industry.

"Our companies are both on the front-end side of the electronics businessthe components that IMI sticks into their boards and IMI's acquisition of Speedy-Tech were important factors for us to consider in terms of how we can participate locally. This is really about how we can bring two Filipino global companies to make us a stronger brand'Brand Philippines,' as we can call itwhere we can really provide a total turnkey from beginning to end here in the Philippines," he said.

Young said what was missing in the Philippine electronics industry is "more integration, more local content. We'd really like to drive local content, and we know that putting our resources together will certainly put us in the right direction."

- Selena Salang
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia

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