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Japan shares Minimal Fab technology with Vietnam

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Minimal Fab? Hi-tech Park? semiconductor industry?

Vietnam's Hi-tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City and a Japanese partner recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to study and improve a new semiconductor production system called Minimal Fab technology, Vietnam Net reported.

Vietnam is the first country to access the new technology that Japanese scientists introduced to the country in 2012.

As part of the partnership, the Japanese Minimal Fab Development Association will train two researchers from the Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP)'s Research and Development Centre for up to two years before transferring the Minimal Fab technology to the SHTP.

A Minimal Fab utilises a 12.5mm production unit with a production line that costs about $5 million only. It enables the small-scale production of wafers, sensors and chips used in electronic devices including phones, tablets, air conditioners and washing machines.

Helping to eliminate the need for a clean room is a localised cleaning technology with a Minimal Shuttle, a sealed conveyance container. With this, capital investment in production equipment is reduced to as much as 1/1,000.

Tat Thanh Cang, vice chair of the municipal People's Committee, emphasised that the semiconductor industry is one of the city's four key sectors. He also said that Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from the Minimal Fab model, adding that the project will help improve the development of the national semiconductor industry.

The Saigon Times quoted Ngo Duc Hoang, deputy director of SHTP's Research and Development Centre, as saying that the city should invest not just in the small-scale Minimal Fab technology but also in Saigon Industry Corporation's large-scale ship factory project in order to boost large-scale chip production in the city.

Chip manufacturing is costly because chips have to be fabricated overseas after domestic design, according to the Integrated Circuits Design Research & Education Centre of the Vietnam National University HCMC.

The chair of the Minimal Fab Development Association, Yasuyuki Harada, pointed out that Minimal Fab is state-of-the-art and that human resources training is critical in applying the said technology.

A total of 100 Minimal Fab units have already been completed by the Japanese partner, which has also developed semiconductor devices from the equipment. Vietnam is set to receive the completed Minimal Fab technology within three years.

- Stephen Padilla

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