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Vietnam gearing up for global IC stage

Posted: 31 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF chips? IC development? semiconductor production?

Eager to compete with its neighbor countries in semiconductor production, Vietnam plans to set up an IC development program in Ho Chi Minh City, according to local reports. The program's target goals include advancing design and manufacturing prototypes, building reliable fabs, promoting local IC businesses as well as providing job opportunities for the growing Vietnamese workforce. This was the main thrust of discussions during the Solid-State Systems Symposium held in HCM City this week.

The HCM City People's Committee hopes that an IC industry with an estimated worth of $100-150 million in exports by 2017 can attract more multinational tech firms to invest in the country. Project coordinators were questioned as to why they set the bar low in terms of projected output. Ngo Duc Hoang, director of the IC Development, Research and Education Center (ICDREC), responded that they are aware of the city's limited resources and financial capabilities so it is only practical to plot an attainable goal.

Conference participants gave their expert opinion on the government-backed project. Mike Holt, director at Singapore's Semitech Semiconductor, said HCM City should consider initially developing products that do not require highly-advanced technology and are easy to market locally. Le My Phuc of Global Cybersoft suggested such products could include electronic licenses, IDs and RFID chips commonly used in portable devices. Phuc added that Vietnam has more than 111.5 million mobile phone users and its electronics industry earned over $5.5 billion back in 2010.

ICDREC's Hoang maintained that although the project seems ambitious, it is feasible. He also said that aside from promoting local commerce, the program can also contribute chip innovations to the country's national defense and security sector.

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