State-owned collaboration with German firm can make Sarawak major player in global chip supply, says premier
KUCHING, March 27 — A Sarawak government-wholly owned entity, SMD Semiconductor Sdn Bhd has been awarded a contract to render chip design services to develop the latest silicon IP libraries for the X-FAB Global Services, a German-based technology company at Samajaya High Technology Park here.
This follows the signing of a Framework Service Agreement (FSA) between SMD Semiconductor, represented by its director Dr Peter Morin Nissom and chief executive officer Shariman Jamil while X-FAB Global Services was represented by its group chief executive officer Rudi de Winter and group technical officer Joerg Doblaski.
An exchange document was witnessed by Sarawak's Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.
The signing also aligns with the X-FAB's expansion plan at the Samajaya facility to increase its foundry output from 30,000 to 40,000 wafers per month by 2025.
Speaking at the ceremony, the premier said the signing of the FSA signifies the state government's commitment to gear its industry towards IR4.0 and a high-value economy.
"The SMD's collaboration with X-FAB Global Services will make Sarawak a major player in the global chip supply chain and enable higher skilled jobs creations," he added.
He expressed confidence that Sarawakian semiconductor professionals working overseas will return to Sarawak and contribute to our industry through this initiative.
He said the state's goals are to increase labour productivity growth, manufacturing contribution to the economy, innovation capacity, and high-skilled jobs by establishing a deep-tech semiconductor chip design house focused on designing and commercialising IC products in partnership with key players.
He added X-FAB has been a global player in Sarawak for many years, producing semiconductors, and he is delighted that they are expanding its operations in Sarawak, working alongside SMD Semiconductor.
"Apart from this collaboration, I also welcome X-FAB Global Services (Germany) to partner with technical institutions and universities in Sarawak to shape new curriculums in semiconductors for undergraduates, postgraduates and industry certifications to enable our young graduates to acquire the necessary skills to become semiconductor experts," he said.