Businesses can go to gobusiness.gov.sg/covid/ for more information regarding the temporary suspension of activities. 

For more information on special travel arrangements that Singapore has implemented with other countries/regions, please go to https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg.

X
AA
A
A

Speech by Second Minister S Iswaran at the launch of A*STAR IME’s Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs at the Institute of Microelectronics

Speech by Second Minister S Iswaran at the launch of A*STAR IME’s Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs at the Institute of Microelectronics

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, Agency for Science, Technology & Research,
 
Mr Tetsuro Higashi, Chief Executive Officer, Tokyo Electron Limited,  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Prof. Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director, Institute of Microelectronics,
 
Distinguished partners,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Introduction
 
1.       Good morning.  I am pleased to join you today at the launch of A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics’ (IME) Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs.  The labs will leverage IME’s research capabilities in Advanced Lithography, Metrology, Assembly, and Wafer Level Packaging, which are key semiconductor technology processes.
 
The Government is Committed to Positioning Singapore as a World-Class Semiconductor Innovation Hub
 
2.       Since the first investments more than 40 years ago, by Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor, to manufacture semiconductors and integrated circuits in Singapore, the semiconductor industry has played an important role in our economic growth.  Industry employment has more than doubled over the past two decades, from about 15,000 in 1993 to 41,000 in 2013.  Over the same period, the industry’s value-added (VA) has grown more than nine-fold, to reach S$10.9 billion in 2013.  Reflecting the maturity of our semiconductor industry, VA in the last five years has steadied, at a CAGR of 5.9 per cent.
 
3.       More than half of the world’s semiconductor companies have R&D and manufacturing activities in Singapore today.  The semiconductor industry in Singapore is the second largest in the Asia Pacific region, manufacturing one in 10 of the world’s integrated circuits[1].  With rising affluence in Asia, demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will continue to grow.  This growth in demand, which will drive the production of chips, means that the prospects for the semiconductor sector are bright.  According to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), the semiconductor industry will grow by 6.5 per cent worldwide, and more strongly at 9.3 per cent in the Asia Pacific region, from 2013 to 2014.
 
R&D – A Critical Enabler to Stay Ahead of Global Trends
 
6.       Since its establishment in 1991, IME has played a valuable role in supporting the growth of the semiconductor industry.  The institute has developed a broad spectrum of capabilities, ranging from advanced chip packaging to assembly and lithography, which have enabled IME to embark on successful public-private partnerships with industry leaders such as Applied Materials, Qualcomm and Honeywell.  In 2012, Applied Materials and A*STAR set up a joint Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging to conduct research in wafer-level packaging, which is a critical growth area for the sector.  Since the establishment of the Centre, Applied Materials has invested over $90 million in R&D in Singapore and has created over 100 jobs for researchers across multiple technology disciplines.
 
7.       With a total R&D commitment of $200 million over the next three to five years, the launch today of the four IME Joint Labs bears testament to A*STAR’s continued strong partnership with the semiconductor industry.  The Joint Labs provide integrated full process-line research infrastructure that will enable public-private research collaborations in wafer-level packaging, advanced lithography, metrology, and assembly capabilities development.  These capabilities will prepare our companies for emerging global trends in the semiconductor industry towards 3D chip packaging and fine patterning of 20 nanometres and below.  They will also help to address industry challenges of reducing chip manufacturing cost while enhancing performance.
 
8.       The deepening of public-private research partnerships as a result of Government’s investment in R&D has contributed to the shift of our companies towards higher value-added activities in Singapore.  In the semiconductor industry, VA per semiconductor worker in the past five years has grown at a CAGR of 7.3 per cent, double that of the manufacturing industry average, to reach $270,000 per worker. 
  
Singapore Remains an Attractive Location for Companies to Locate Strategic Functions, Ranging from R&D to Manufacturing
 
9.       The investment in state-of-the-art research capabilities and infrastructure through projects such as A*STAR IME’s Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs project ensures that Singapore is well-positioned to grow the semiconductor industry even further.  Our deep research capabilities, together with our world-class talent base, business-friendly environment and strong links to regional markets, underpin Singapore’s value proposition as an attractive base for companies looking to locate corporate R&D, manufacturing and other strategic functions in Asia.
 
10.     KLA-Tencor Southeast Asia, a world leader in semiconductor process control solutions, and one of the Joint Labs partners, is an example of a company that has expanded its operations in Singapore from manufacturing to R&D.  Since the opening of KLA-Tencor’s manufacturing operations in Singapore in 2008, KLA-Tencor has seen a four-fold increase in staff headcount to approximately 600 employees today.  To tap on the regional and global growth opportunities, KLA-Tencor will be bringing the R&D activities for two of its product lines to Singapore, and plans to hire 20 additional R&D engineers by the end of this year.
 
11.     Anchoring KLA-Tencor’s R&D in Singapore has helped to level up the capabilities of local companies.  With KLA-Tencor’s R&D team co-located with its suppliers from as early on as the product design stage, local companies can now participate in higher value-added activities such as product design, and build the requisite capabilities to cater to more complex technical requirements.
 
12.     Another IME Joint Labs partner is Tokyo Electron Ltd (TEL), which will be expanding its presence in Singapore from the current sales and support functions to include R&D.  The collaboration with IME is expected to create high value R&D jobs and enhance growth opportunities for the industry.  TEL will be sharing expertise and knowledge from its Japanese headquarters with its Singapore operations to catalyse the deepening of their research capabilities in Singapore.
  
Conclusion
 
13.     The continued deepening of leading semiconductor companies’ activities in Singapore through the IME Joint Labs attests to their confidence in Singapore as a home for R&D and innovation.  The initiative serves as a model for future collaborations building on our strong research capabilities in the national research landscape.  With the commitment of all parties, I believe that these partnerships will become even stronger and more extensive over time.
 
14.     I wish all the partners every success in the Joint Labs initiative.  Thank you.
 
 
 
add HOME ABOUT US IMPROVING TRADE TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES NEWSROOM RESOURCES LEGISLATIONS CAREERS
Contact Us Feedback