Penang already has IC giants, says Chow

GEORGE TOWN: Penang may not need an integrated circuit (IC) design park as there are already many related companies in the state, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

"Yes, we don't have an IC park. We have a lot of IC related companies in Penang, and more will come," he told reporters during a press conference at a hotel here on Saturday (April 27).

In response to a call by former chief minister Lim Guan Eng for the state to conduct a postmortem on it losing the IC design park to Selangor, Chow said Penang remains attractive to investors and would welcome meeting up with Lim to discuss the matter.

"I welcome it if we can meet without bothering the press to report on our responses. It's very puzzling to investors," Chow said.

Yesterday, Lim had questioned the state for losing the IC park to Selangor despite having more than RM2.1bil in reserves as of 2018 that could've been spent to woo investors and benefit from the project that would create jobs for locals.

On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the KL20 Summit 2024 announced a plan for the hub under the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec).

The project involves four strategic partners namely British semiconductor giant Arm Holdings, the Shenzhen Semiconductor Industry Association, Bayan Lepas-based IC designer SkyeChip Sdn Bhd and Malaysia AI Storage (MaiStorage).

Meanwhile, Chow announced that three prominent Chinese companies will join the state's semiconductor industry.

The companies are China Wafer Level CSP Co (WLCSP), Ningbo SJ Electronics Co (SJE) and Wuxi AMTE Inc (AMTE).

"These three companies are set to bolster our growing Integrated Circuit design and advanced packaging ecosystem.

"WLCSP revolutionised the semiconductor industry by developing innovative technologies and assist its customers in implementing high-volume manufacturing of semiconductor packages.

"SJE has extensive experience in materials and equipment, as well as exceptional research and development capabilities.

"AMTE is a leading provider of produced semiconductor manufacturing apparatus in China with its main products focalising on etching and film process equipment which is widely used in the semiconductor processing," he said.

Chow said the companies were brought in by Blue Chip Venture Capital which has played a pivotal role in attracting these strategic investments to Penang.

"The signing of a memorandum of understanding at the KL20 Summit between these three semiconductor companies has laid the groundwork for this introduction.

"Penang is indeed proud to be the chosen location for these three semiconductor businesses, which signifies the confidence that foreign investors have placed in Penang," said Chow.

Blue Chip VC co-founder and chief executive officer Tim Chen said the collaboration marks another milestone in Penang's semiconductor industry and would take several months before they take off.

"Together, they would create hundreds of job opportunities and involve total investments of at least USD100mil," he said.

Also present were Oriza PE managing director Yao Hua, Gallizul Capital founder Steven Hsieh and Rigol Technologies chief executive officer Wang Ning.

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