VOV.VN - Many global tech giants have been pouring billions of US dollar into semiconductor chip production lines in Vietnam in an effort to get the lion’s share of the lucrative industry in the country, reports Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) newspaper.
A strong magnet for tech giants
Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, India, and many other countries are all keen to develop the semiconductor industry, but Vietnam boasts an advantage over its competitors, as evidenced in the avid interest of many large firms from the United States, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and other countries in this field.
US giant Intel, one of the top three semiconductor chip manufacturers in the world, began developing a US$1 billion chip factory in the country more than 10 years ago. The firm increased investment capital in the project to nearly US$1.5 billion in 2021, whilst it is also planning to pour billions of US dollar more in an effort to expand its factory in the country.
Amkor Technology Inc of the US signed a document with Bac Ninh province in 2021 as part of efforts to develop a semiconductor manufacturing, assembly, and testing factory worth US$1.6 billion, opening up a major opportunity for the country to attract investment in this lucrative industry. The factory is set to be put into operation in October, 2023.
Other US firms such as Synopsys and Marvell are currently undertaking projects to build semiconductor design and incubation centres in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meanwhile, RoK tech firms do not miss the opportunity to get the lion’s share. During a meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi in August 2022, the leadership of tech giant Samsung revealed that the firm was testing ball grid array products for mass production at the Samsung Electro-Mechanics Vietnam factory in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.
Most recently, another RoK firm Hana Micron, which manufactures integrated circuit boards for smart phones put into operation the first phase of its first semiconductor plant in northern Bac Giang province in mid-September. The firm has planned to increase its investment from US$600 million at present to more than US$1 billion by 2025, according to Choi Chang Ho, CEO of the firm.
Chip products of Vietnamese brand
Experts believe the door is wide open for the semiconductor industry to develop in Vietnam, although there is still plenty of work to do. The country not only attracts foreign firms, but also encourages domestic firms to get more involved in chip manufacturing. Currently, there are only a few local firms such as FPT Semiconductor, CMC, and Viettel engaging in chip manufacturing.
As a means of developing the industry, they suggest that tech and electronic support industry firms exert a greater effort to make changes and participate more deeply in production chains. Vietnam should therefore strive to formulate a strategy to train high-quality human resources, along with policies to support firms in transferring technology, especially core technology, to manufacture Vietnamese-branded chip products.
Statistics indicate that currently Vietnam is home to about 5,000 engineers working in the field of integrated circuit design. Speaking at the recent launching ceremony of the Electronics and Semiconductor Center at Saigon Hi-Tech Park, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha emphasised that there would not be a strong electronics sector if an industry of microchips and semiconductors was built.
The Government official underlined the need to train high-quality human resources, and promote research, especially those related to core technology. He assured that the Government would amend bills on science-technology and education-training, while pooling together resources for science-technology development.
Only when those requirements are met, can Vietnam receive technology transfer towards manufacturing locally branded chip products. By 2024, the country’s semiconductor industry is forecast to exceed US$6.17 billion in value. This ambitious goal hopes to see the country engage more deeply in the global semiconductor chip industry, thereby helping it to escape the middle-income trap.