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SEMICON panel highlights SEA's semiconductor opportunities

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SEMICON Singapore? semiconductor equipment? packaging technology?

SEMICON Singapore held April 24-25 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center hosted about 110 exhibitors. In a press conference, a panel of speakers from the industry and the academe shared their viewpoints about the outlook of the semiconductor industry in Southeast Asia. Executives from IM Flash Technologies, Siltronic Samsung Wafer, Applied Materials and Institute of Microelectronics (IME) shared their opinion of the semiconductor market in the region.

According to SEMI, 2013 is likely to reach a record high in semiconductor equipment investment. The industry forecast for semiconductor revenue growth for 2012 is expected to reach a range of three to nine percent. With positive demand in the electronics sector, especially for mobile devices, SEMI expects the semiconductor industry to continue growing. Terry Tsao, SEMI Southeast Asia president, said, "Singapore is the regional hub in Southeast Asia and the second largest semiconductor city in the world." Singapore's competitiveness in its policies, stability, R&D and workforce quality is crucial to the region's semiconductor industry, according to Tsao.


SEMICON panel: (from left to right) Dr. Surya Bhattacharya, director, Industry Development (TSV), IME; Russell Tham, president, Applied Materials Southeast Asia; David Wilhoit, president and CEO, Siltronic Samsung Wafer; Rodney Morgan, co-executive officer, IM Flash Technologies; and Terry Tsao, president, SEMI Southeast Asia.

In recent years, equipment manufacturers also increased their presence in Singapore and located more of their manufacturing facilities in the region aiming to reduce cost of production and improve efficiencies across the supply chain. These developments present enormous opportunities for Southeast Asian suppliers of components and parts, precision engineering services, module design, heat/surface treatment and cleaning services.

On the other hand, investments by IDM and OEM players in manufacturing sites in Malaysia and Vietnam also represent new opportunities for Singapore's equipment, component and materials suppliers.

Singapore's investment advantages
A major semiconductor materials supplier, Siltronic Samsung Wafer is located in Singapore as a centralized hub to the growing Asia Pacific region that currently consumes more than 60 percent of the world's 300mm wafers. David Wilhoit, president and CEO, Siltronic Samsung Wafer pointed out the competitiveness of Singapore: "The Singapore government has built an infrastructure and provides financial incentives to attract and develop the semiconductor industry supply chain. From material and equipment suppliers to a host of semiconductor fabs, assembly/test and support companies, businesses located here can leverage the benefit of cost efficiency and proximity to their customers and suppliers. Singapore also provides businesses safety from geopolitical instability and natural disturbances which present risks in other regions." On the other hand, Wilhoit also said the rising payroll and energy cost are challenges for international enterprises to expand business here.

Worldwide installed capacity

Figure 1: The year 2009 was the first time installed capacity change rate was negative (YoY). The panel said the growth of installed capacity is now more controlled.

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