Deal paves way for design, manufacture of chips in Sarawak
Posted on : 10 Nov 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Shariman (left) exchanges the agreement with Biron, witnessed by Abang Johari as Sagah (back row, left) and Len Talif look on. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Nov 10): The Framework Service Agreement signed between Sarawak Microelectronics Design (SMD) Semiconductor Sdn Bhd and Melexis of Belgium paves the way for collaborations in chip design and other services in chip development.


SMD Semiconductor chief executive officer Shariman Jamil said that the collaboration, together with the support of its world-class foundry partner X-Fab Kuching, will pave the way for the state to design and manufacture chips in Sarawak.

“Besides chip design and production, the technology, knowledge transfer, and talent development are highly viable and important for both parties to further develop our industries.

“Through the Framework Service Agreement, SMD will render chip design services to Melexis and this collaboration can evolve into other services in chip development.

“We leverage our niche expertise and world-class foundry partner such as X-Fab to create optimal solutions for our clients to transform the world into a better place,” he said in his welcoming speech at SMD Semiconductor launching ceremony yesterday.

The ceremony was held at Tegas Digital Village in Samajaya High Tech Park here, and was officiated by the Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

SMD is a wholly owned entity of the Sarawak government incorporated through the Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) under the purview of the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development.

It is a boutique fabless chip design house specialising in designing analogue and mixed signal integrated circuits or chips.

Shariman further pointed out that in this Era of the Fourth Semiconductor Revolution, the big theme or banner is ‘collaboration’.

He said that in the semiconductor industry, the ever-increasing complexity of today’s semiconductor technology is now at least a hundred times more than it was 10 years ago.

“The complexities of chips, coupled with a subtle interaction between advanced process technology, circuit design and electronic design automation, makes it even more crucial for the cross-disciplinary knowledge and expertise to converge on the same platform to develop real solutions that will benefit the users at large.

“That is to say, it is important for the industries to collaborate and leverage from each other’s strengths to achieve win-win objectives,” he added.

Shariman said SMD’s future scope of work will enhance the state’s application domains in Smart Industries, Smart Cities, Smart Energy and Smart Health.

He said they will also venture into research and development through the Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) and other state research agencies in the field of semiconductor and system technologies, with close collaboration with universities locally and internationally.

“As we aspire to be the leading agency in advancing Sarawak’s digitalisation and economic developments through semiconductors and chip development, we firmly believe Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is a crucial framework and effort that will be embedded into our organisation’s strategy, culture and values.

“Moving forward, we want to nurture this collaboration and cooperation to achieve greater economic prosperity. Capitalising on digitalisation across sectors by optimising usage of data and innovation in line with mega trends around the world, cross-collaboration with other agencies and with the government’s support, we are optimistic that SMD Semiconductor will play its role in achieving our vision of becoming a developed high-income economy by the year 2030,” he said.

Abang Johari also witnessed the tenancy agreement signing between SMD and Tegas Digital Village.

Also present were Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment and Tegas chairman Datu Len Talif Salleh, Melexis chief executive officer Marc Biron, and Melexis vice president of global development Nicolas Simonne.