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Bitmicro opens microelectronics center in the Philippines

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microelectronics design? chip design? design center? Rizal Microprocessor?

The Philippines, whose electronics industry is mainly focused on assembly and manufacturing, has opened a training center specifically geared for microelectronics design. The Bruce Institute of Technology (BIT) is an institute for chip design and engineering, as well as network storage system applications.

The project is spearheaded by Bitmicro Networks Inc., a Silicon Valley-based solid state storage company and its Philippine subsidiary Bitmicro Networks International Inc. The companies are founded by brothers Rey and Rudy Bruce, who are originally from the Philippines. Rey Bruce, the company chairman and CEO, expressed the urgency to prepare Filipinos in the ever-changing technological landscape.

"The Philippines' traction in the global microelectronics industry is almost entirely concentrated in assembly, fabrication and manufacturing," said Rey Bruce. "Bitmicrois practically the only Filipino-founded and owned company engaging into actual microchip design and engineering. We will do our part in uplifting the industry to higher valued services and service capabilities with the technology and products that we develop and produce in the country. Our goal with BIT is to replicate our success at Bitmicro in developing microelectronic design skills."

BIT is the first industry-led microelectronics training center with emphasis on microchip design and development. The institute is working with industry leaders, such as Synopsys Inc. and Cadence Design Systems Inc., to develop and run industry-relevant microelectronics design engineering programs. BIT has also invited graduate and undergraduate engineering students from partner universities in the country to participate. The initial list of participating schools includes the University of the Philippines, Mapua Institute of Technology, First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities, Don Bosco Technical College and Mindanao State University.

BIT hopes to build a critical mass of locally developed engineers that can make the Philippines a favored destination of the world's best microelectronic design companies. "We still believe in the Filipinos' ingenuity and their ability to be relevant in the world stage," said Rudy Bruce, president of BIT.

Although conceptualized and funded purely by private industry initiatives, BIT is envisioned to be an industry-responsive training template that can be replicated by government or other private sector players.

The institute's first program will be the development of the Philippines' first commercially viable microprocessor. The Rizal Microprocessor, named in honor of the 150th birth anniversary of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Aside from the Rizal Microprocessor project, the Institute is currently qualifying its other training offerings and will kick start the program with the unveiling ceremonies at the Bitmicro Networks Corporate Offices in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. The institute intends to offer practical training in device and system level firmware and software development.

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