By Mary Jane P. Tadili
In one of its biggest projects yet, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has unveiled a state-of-the-art multi-million testing facility for the local semiconductor and electronics industry.
Dubbed as the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel), the facility houses advanced machines critical to the needs of the semicon industry.
With the facility, companies need not to send their IC (integrated circuit) samples/designs for testing abroad and as a result they can lower cost and have shorter turn-around time to go into production.
?This facility is envisioned to level up our competitiveness in the sector that has been a consistent winner and lifeblood of our exports in the last decades,? said DOST Sec. Mario Montejo.
In 2016, the semicon industry is expected to generate revenue around $50 billion. Based on NSO and DTI data, the industry accounts for 65 percent of the country?s total export and in 2011, it generated revenues of $30 Billion.
According to Amelia P. Guevara, DOST undersecretary for research and development, the department shelled out P350 million to put up the testing facility, of which P240 million alone was used to procure the equipment, including the remodelling of the old ITDI building to conform to ISO standards and the construction of a nanotechnology wing within the center.
Guevara added that the facility is now at par with Singapore and other testing facilities in the Asian region.
The facility, the DOST said, will result to an increased number of R&D activities, which in turn attract more foreign companies to locate in the country.
To complement the needs of the industry and to assure that there is a ready supply of trained manpower, the agency is on the process of putting up a Product Development Center (PDC) and the Integrated Circuit Development Institute (ICDI) which will serve as a training ground for would-be IC designers.
For this undertaking, the DOST said it is partnering with universities all around the country to design and offer courses related to IC design.
The initiatives are just among the projects this year of the DOST under its IT flagship program ?Smarter Philippines? to mark its 55th anniversary.
The program, which is set to be launched in Davao in February 20, will be DOST?s roadmap for the next five years. It will encompass several components including Smarter Government, Smarter People, Smarter economy, Smarter Mobility, Smarter Environment, Smarter Living and Smarter Cities.