Japan’s Nagano Techno Foundation on January 19 signed an agreement with the Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Center (ICDREC), under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, to cooperate in the chip manufacturing industry, local media reported.
The accord came one month after the ICDREC showcased its chips and applications built with Vietnam-designed chips at SEMICON Japan 2015, the premier exhibition in Asia for semiconductor manufacturing and related processing technology.
During their stay in Vietnam, the Nagano Prefecture delegation and Nagano Techno Foundation, which was established in 2001 with funding of nearly $50 million, will study the ICDREC’s research and commercial operations as well as commercialization of its products.
ICDREC Director Ngo Duc Hoang said that the latest deal will extend the international reach of Vietnam’s chip industry, especially to the Japanese market.
Besides the Nagano Techno Foundation, a number of Japanese firms will discuss cooperation chances with the ICDREC in either setting up outsourcing centers in Vietnam or providing chip designers to Japanese partners, Mr. Hoang added.
SocioNext, which designs, develops and delivers System-on-Chip products to customers worldwide, has shown interest in hiring ICDREC engineers, he tipped.
ICDREC last year signed its first outsourcing contract worth $60,000 with Japan’s CM Engineering, under which the former will design the power supplies for chips made by the latter.
According to Ho Chi Minh City’s Semiconductor Industry Development Program, Vietnam now ranks third in chip design in ASEAN.
The domestic demand for chips in Vietnam was estimated at $4 billion in 2015, given the rising demand for the product in industries, household appliances, smart cards and national security and defense. Vietnam consumes about 20 billion chips worth a combined $2 billion per year.