Thursday, February 29, 2024

PH gov’t planning to put up wafer fabrication plant

The Philippine government, through the Board of Investments (BOI), said it is looking to venture into semiconductor design and establish a lab-scale wafer fabrication plant in the country.

BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo disclosed the government’s plan to US Department of State undersecretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment Jose Fernandez in a recent meeting.

According to Rodolfo, the wafer fab lab will utilize a more generic technology for commercial and educational purposes.

He said the plant aims to train and upskill the workforce, while enabling the local industry to do prototyping and some tape outs of semiconductor chip designs in the country instead of bringing them all the way to Taiwan.

The BOI also shared that it is already finalizing its goal to produce 128,000 semiconductor-related engineers and technicians by 2028 to support the development of the country’s semiconductor industry.

Fernandez, on the other hand, said the US has picked the Philippines as one of the six countries it will be supporting under the CHIPS Act.

The assistance, the US official said, will be focused mainly on assembly, testing, and packaging.

To support this initiative, the US announced that its US International Development Finance Corporation will establish a more permanent presence in the Philippines by February. The US invited the country to join the OECD Semiconductor Informal Exchange Network.

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