At the moment, Singapore’s semiconductor industry is one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific region and is also home to some of the largest players in the industry, ranging from integrated device manufacturers and wafer foundries to outsourced assembly and test services companies.
On Mar 1, the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) launched Singapore’s first Complex Equipment Consortium (CEC) to enhance collaborations and develop technical capabilities to build the electronics and semiconductor industry.
As part of SSIA’s three-year plan to support the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (ITM), the Consortium brings together 17 industry partners, including solutions and equipment providers, academia as well as research and development entities.
Today, SSIA has more than 160 members including companies and organisations throughout all parts of the complex and comprehensive value chain. Given the strong supplier ecosystem in Singapore’s semiconductor industry, SMEs now account for close to half of SSIA’s membership.
The launch was attended by Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of National Development Dr Koh Poh Koon, who said that the consortium could play a key role in bolstering the semiconductor industry.
According to Senior Minister Dr Koh, electronics is a key pillar of Singapore’s manufacturing sector, accounting for more than a quarter of our manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), at about S$90 billion.
In 2017, output of the electronics cluster grew by more than 30% compared to 2016, supported by strong growth in the semiconductors segment which made up close to two-thirds of the Electronics manufacturing GDP. With demand in the global electronics and semiconductor equipment markets expected to remain firm, the Electronics sector should continue to expand in 2018, albeit at a more moderate pace.
“The consortium has the potential to drive the development of the semiconductor industry, establishing Singapore’s position as a leading global manufacturing hub,” said Minister Dr Koh.
All 17 consortium partners are: AEM Holding, CEI Limited (Equipment Division), EverComm Uni-Tech, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, SESTO Robotics, Kinergy Corporation, Lumileds, Plasma Innovation Labs, Semi Integration, SILTRONICS, A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore University of Technology and Design, STMicroelectronics, Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co., SCHNEEBERGER Linear Technology, and MEDs Technologies.
These partners provide different expertise that will help to deepen the technical capabilities and strengthen the ecosystem, increasing the competitiveness of Singapore as a global semiconductor manufacturing hub and creating a conducive business environment.
Following the launch, the consortium will kickstart their discussions in April to identify the key growth areas and potentials to be tapped on in Industry 4.0. The consortium partners will subsequently be divided into 3 working groups, focusing on developing and enhancing: (1) Process, (2) Productivity and (3) Automation in complex equipment.
Senior Minister Dr Koh commented that while the outlook remains positive, new technologies are disrupting the industry and businesses will need to continuously innovate to remain relevant and stay ahead of the competition.
To that end, the Singapore Government has launched the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) last September, which has identified innovation, productivity, skills and internationalisation as key drivers for long-term growth of the Electronics industry.
The CEC was launched in conjunction to the SSIA Summit 2018 which brings together experts and industry players to share industry visions and insights. Titled “Disruptive Technologies and Transformation of Electronics Businesses”, this year’s Summit will look to explore how the semiconductor industry is enabling various technologies behind disruptive trends, and how they play a key role in transforming businesses.
In his welcome speech at the event, President of SSIA Mr CK Tan stated that in support to the Electronics ITM, the organisation will roll out more initiatives & activities in the next 2 to 3 years to facilitate business-to-business (B2B) engagement in the industry.
Commenting on how the electronics industry is affected by disruptive technologies, Mr Tan shared that the challenge is to apply it effectively in operations and businesses at the lowest cost.