FILIPINO engineers should set up companies that would encourage innovation in integrated circuit (IC) design—an essential part of the Philippine semiconductor and electronics industry—so that the country can establish a competitive digital niche in Asia.
This was the call made by Professors Shuenn-Yuh Lee and Cheng-Han Hsieh of Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University during the 5th IC Design Training Program held recently at the JICA-Net Satellite Center, NEC Building in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
The training, facilitated by the two Taiwan professors, focused on the importance of analog to digital and digital to analog converters. It was launched jointly by the Board of Investments (BOI) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Taiwanese Government, and the Philippine Institute for Integrated Circuits (PIIC).
“These four institutions are working together to improve and promote the IC design industry in our country. Individual industry roadmaps have identified training needs to address human resource development and upgrade them with latest technology requirements of the global market,” said Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr.
Lee noted that homegrown engineers have increased their technical capability over the years. He further encouraged the trainees to innovate and even put up IC design start-ups to boost the digital revolution.
In 2013, the semiconductor and electronics industry accounted for 28 percent of the country’s GDP output, generating revenue in excess of $21 billion and employing some 4 million employees directly and indirectly.
The Electronics Industry Roadmap envisions the Philippines becoming a globally competitive electronics hub by 2030 with investments of $10 billion, exports of $112 billion and direct and indirect employment of up to 24 million. For the short and medium terms, the country’s total exports are expected to top $37 billion by 2016 and $52 billion by 2022.
Some 29 participants, mostly faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology and Bulacan State University completed the training.
Other attendees included representatives from the electronics companies of Analog Device Inc. and Zynix Design. Also present were representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), UP College of Engineering, University of the Philippines, PIIC and the BOI.
Shipments of electronic products—the country’s largest merchandise export sector—grew to $2.4 billion in September from $2.1 billion a year earlier, with electronics accounting for more than two-fifths of September’s export revenues.