Taiwanese academics urge PH to form IC design start-ups

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Two visiting professors from Taiwan have advised Filipino engineers to form start-ups that provide integrated circuit (IC) design services to help the Philippines establish a digital niche in Asia.

Photo credit: www.nie.gov.pk
Photo credit: www.nie.gov.pk

Professors Shuenn-Yuh Lee and Cheng-Han Hsieh of the National Cheng Kung University made the recommendation as they facilitated the 5th IC Design Training Program recently held at the JICA-Net Satellite Center at the NEC Building in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The training, which focused on the importance of analog to digital and digital to analog converters, was an initiative of the Board of Investments (BOI) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Taiwanese government, and the Philippine Institute for Integrated Circuits (PIIC).

Professor Lee noted that homegrown engineers have increased their technical capability over the years. He said local engineers should now consider putting up IC design start-ups to boost the digital revolution.

IC design is an essential part of the Philippine semiconductor and electronics industry. In 2013 alone, the industry accounted for 28 percent of the country?s GDP output or revenues in excess of $21 billion, employing some 4 million employees directly and indirectly.

The country?s Electronics Industry Roadmap envisions the country as a globally competitive electronics hub by 2030 with investments of $10 billion, exports of $112 billion, and direct and indirect employment of up to 24 million. For the short and medium-terms, the country?s total exports are expected to top $37 billion by 2016 and $52 billion by 2022.

Some 29 participants, mostly faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology and Bulacan State University completed the training.

Other attendees included representatives from the electronics companies of Analog Device and Zynix Design. Also present were representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), UP College of Engineering, University of the Philippines, PIIC and the BOI.

Based on the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country?s electronics industry exported $16.28 billion from January to August 2014, a 5.2-percent increase from $15.28 billion in the same period last year. — PIA

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