By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH
Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s subsidiary, SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, has been chosen as a key strategic partner to China’s microelectronics producer, Beijing Yandong Microelectronics Co Ltd (YDME), to establish an eight-inch wafer fabrication plant worth RM2.9 billion in Beijing.
SilTerra CEO Firdaus Abdullah said the firm will be supplying human capital, including 81 engineers and managers, intended to operate the new plant.
“Almost all of the key staff who will be working at the new YDME plant will go through three months of intensive training at our Kulim plant.
“It is a testimony to our 20 years of experience and know-how on independently running a fabrication plant and shows that a Malaysian company has been recognised as achieving standards high enough to be consulted on by Chinese companies,” Firdaus said in a statement yesterday.
He added that SilTerra will be shifting the firm’s process of intellectual property (IP) to manufacture new chips.
“This partnership will open up new opportunities for SilTerra to play a more active role in China’s emerging market for advanced microelectronics,” he said.
YDME CEO Dr Huai Yong Ji said the fabrication plant signals YDME’s capability in improving Yandong’s overall level of technology innovation and assist its nation to achieve the national output target of US$305 billion (RM1.28 trillion) by 2030.
“We are delighted to collaborate with SilTerra in this new role as a consulting partner, having worked with them since 2016 on the eight-inch fabrication plant.
“SilTerra has supplied chips to our subsidiary companies through its proprietary process technology in the areas of liquid-crystal display drivers, MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor), RFLDMOS (radio frequency laterally diffused MOS) and BCD (binary-coded decimal), and will collaborate more in many areas,” he said.
YDME is a subsidiary of state-owned Beijing Electronics Holding Co Ltd, a high-tech firm that produces integrated circuit and device manufacturers.
The China-based firm has been partnering with SilTerra since 2016 to provide multitier strategic consultancy that includes planning, design and construction of the fabrication plant, as well as setting up of the quality assurance system and technology integration.
The plant, which spanned across 73,260 sq m, is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2019 and estimated to generate a monthly output of 50,000 wafers per month.
It also has been listed as one of the 20 main projects of Beijing Science and Technology Creation Centre in 2018 and set to serve as an integrated chip production plant.
Moving forward, Firdaus said SilTerra is on track to produce high-value products and services, particularly in the life sciences, Internet of Things and automotive sectors.
“To achieve this, SilTerra has embarked on an internal transformation process which began a few years ago.
“Externally, we have begun an initiative to build an ecosystem among manufacturers and like-minded partners to support each other as we collectively develop skills and capability to address emerging markets and develop advanced technology,” he added.