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Sarawak Partner for Integrated Chip Design Development

Image Credits: Sarawak Government Website, Press Release

The Government of Sarawak announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a semiconductor solutions company based in Belgium toward collaboration related to integrated chip (IC) design for chip production in the state.

The Premier of Sarawak stated that the collaboration is an important step that will benefit Sarawak and the world in general through the development of locally made chip designs in the future. He said he is confident that climate change and the reduction of dependence on combustion engines will lead to the design of new chips based on the needs of today’s energy market.

In addition, the Premier emphasised the need for the development of talent to ensure and foster an environment that encourages robust research and development (R&D) activities in chip design technology in Sarawak.

“With Sarawak, especially Kuching, now implementing the Autonomous Flow Transit System (ART) project based on hydrogen as a power source, R&D will definitely be a key factor in the development of a new public transport system,” he said.

At the ceremony, the Premier of Sarawak witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Sarawak Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) together the Belgian tech firm.

The scope of the agreement includes collaboration in IC design as well as talent development in the semiconductor industry in Sarawak as one of the state government’s efforts in the program to develop talent and innovative value here. Earlier, the Chairman of the tech firm delivered a speech to welcome the Premier and the Delegation from Sarawak.

For the record, the tech firm has been involved in the X-FAB chip foundry in Samajaya Free Industrial Zone which produces chips for various uses including in the automotive industry.

Also present were the Deputy Premier of Sarawak; the Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Sarawak; and the Deputy Ministers of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Sarawak. The Malaysian Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and the Head of the Malaysian Delegation to the European Union (EU) was also in attendance. The Premier of Sarawak and the delegation then visited the Port of Antwerp-Bruges where another MoU will be signed regarding the proposed development of a new port in Kuching. The programs on Tuesday were the first activities in the Sarawak Premier’s work visit to Europe and the United Kingdom which lasted for a week.

The integrated circuits market comprises the sale of integrated circuits and related services used in a variety of applications including automobiles, telecommunication, aerospace and defence, and consumer electronics. An integrated circuit is a small chip that serves as an amplifier, an oscillator, a timer as well as a memory computer. It is a small wafer that can accommodate hundreds to millions of transistors, resistors and capacitors.

The global integrated circuits market size is expected to grow from US$330.32 billion in 2021 to US$349.76 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%. This growth can be attributed mainly to companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which resulted in restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The integrated circuit market is expected to grow to US$417.27 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 4.5%.

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