Wednesday, October 23

X-FAB to support Sarawak’s semiconductor cluster development

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Awang Tengah and Straub hold a semiconductor wafer during a photo call. Liaw and Mohd Naroden are at second and third left respectively.

KUCHING: X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE has pledged to support the Sarawak government’s aspiration to develop a semiconductor cluster in the state.

The pledge was made during a meeting between a Sarawak delegation led by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and X-FAB team led by board of directors member Hans-Jurgen
Straub in Erfurt, Germany on Monday.

According to a statement from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development, Awang Tengah said the development of the semiconductor cluster would accelerate Sarawak’s industrialisation process to Industrial Revolution 4.0.

“Silicon Valley being the most obvious, but in Europe, there are four key clusters around Leuven (Belgium), Dresden (Germany), Eindhoven (The Netherlands), and Grenoble (France).

“Between them, there are around 800 companies employing 150,000 skilled people. Wide ranging but technical, with a real need for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The majority are skilled, highly paid technology jobs at graduate and postgraduate level,” he said.

According to the statement, X-FAB Sarawak has the largest manufacturing facilities in the Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone and is part of the X-FAB Group of companies in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United States of America.

“X-FAB Sarawak Sdn Bhd currently employs more than 1,200 local Sarawakians in high-tech jobs. According to Straub X-FAB Sarawak Sdn Bhd is in a good position to nurture the development of semiconductor cluster in the state because Sarawak has the right business ecosystem.

“Moreover, there are many Sarawakian students studying in Germany in various fields of engineering and X-FAB would be happy to engage these students as interns in its manufacturing plants and later become its employees in Sarawak,” said the statement.

The statement added X-FAB is a specialty foundry with a worldwide presence offering a comprehensive set of technologies and design IP to enable its customers to develop world leading products across different market segments.

The Sarawak delegation comprised Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, permanent secretary Datu Liaw Soon Eng, as well as senior officials Kameri Affandi, Lester Matthew, and Zulkarnain Rosli.

Accompanying them were Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) Investment Consul in Frankfurt Yusri Hasnan Chu Abu Bakar and Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Sarawak director Leany Mokhtar.

Straub was joined by X-FAB vice-president (strategic projects) Nobert Meyer, chief technical officer Dr Jens Kosch, and operation manager Mario von Podewils.