HCMC launches IC development program
By Quoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The HCMC government has decided to establish a steering committee for the integrated circuit (IC) development program and a team of specialists to assist the committee.
The steering committee consists of 13 members, headed by HCMC vice chairman Le Manh Ha. The committee will determine plans and directions of the IC development program and carry out activities and projects under the program.
In addition, the steering committee will supervise, inspect and assess performance of the works related to the program, and make proposals to the municipal government on the problems arising during the run of the program.
This decision is aimed to implement the resolution of the ninth congress of the HCMC Party Committee on the supporting program for restructuring the city’s economy and changing the economic growth model in the 2011-2015 period.
Although there are several IC designers and producers of probe cards used for IC testing in Vietnam, the country has no IC fabrication plant at present. Experts said Vietnam has conditions to develop the IC industry, such as highly-qualified human resources, low labor costs, available domestic market and IC design capability.
Saigon Industry Corporation (CNS) is after a project to build an electronic chip factory worth hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Once established, this factory will be the first industrial-scale chip plant in Vietnam, expected to be located in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park.
The investor said this project will offer conditions to boost IC design development and address the local demand for electronic chips. If successful, the project will contribute to turning the labor-intensive industry of Vietnam into a high value-added industry, and create products with high intellectual content.
Ngo Duc Hoang, director of the Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Center, under Vietnam National University in HCMC, said the establishment of an IC fabrication plant will be key to attracting human and financial resources, making HCMC become an IC center of the country and the region.
For the semiconductor industry to develop, there needs to be many IC design centers and companies nationwide, said Hoang. Therefore, his center has been rolling out cooperation programs to develop more IC design centers across the country, and hence form an IC design community in Vietnam, build a highly-professional staff and create a link between research agencies and enterprises.