MMS Ventures to go into wafers

MMS chief executive officer T.K. Sia checking out a test equipment with an employee.

GEORGE TOWN: MMS Ventures Bhd will diversify to produce semiconductor wafer inspection equipment in 2021.

Group managing director TK Sia told StarBiz that MMS was currently talking to a China-based customer to produce semiconductor wafer inspection equipment.

“If we seal the agreement in the fourth quarter, we can start production in the first quarter of 2021, ” he said.

According to Sia, recent analyst reports showed that in just the Asia-Pacific region, the market size of the semiconductor wafer inspection equipment is projected to grow to US$5.23bil in 2024 from US$3.52bil in 2019.

“The market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 8%, ” he added.

Sia said its semiconductor wafer inspection equipment would serve in particular optical wafer inspection segment. “These are 200 mm optical wafers that go into smart televisions. In 2018, the optical wafer inspection segment held the largest wafer inspection equipment market, accounting for over 82% of the market.

“The optical wafer segment will continue to be the biggest until at least 2023-2024. We plan to sell the equipment at about US$500,000 per unit, ” he said.

MMS Ventures factory in PenangMMS Ventures factory in Penang

Besides television, optical wafers are used in smartphones, laptops, and other consumer electronic predictors. “Our test inspection equipment can check defects on 200mm and 300mm wafers, ” Sia added.

Sia said the group expected to inject around RM7mil to RM8mil in early 2021 for this new business segment. “In the first year, it can generate about 25% of the revenue. In three years, it will be able to contribute perhaps half of the group’s revenue, ” Sia added.

Sia said the global pandemic had fuelled the demand for laptops, smartphones, and televisions. “Because of Covid-19, the majority of the global population today relies on laptops and smartphones do their tasks remotely. This is the reason why the volume of shipment is rising rapidly, ” Sia said.

On the performance of the group for the 2020 financial year, Sia said the group’s revenue and profit are expecting a contraction of close to 40%. “In the second half, our sales of test equipment to contractors making Apple 5G-enabled smartphones for our test equipment will help to mitigate the negative impact of the global pandemic on the group.

“We have already delivered several of such test equipment priced at US$800,000 per unit, ” Sia said.

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