TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A new system-on-chip technology park, located on the outskirts of Taipei, is being planned by Taiwan's Industrial Development Bureau to help the island's chip industry accelerate advanced IC design capabilities and expand its role in global semiconductor markets far beyond manufacturing.
The Industrial Development Bureau said it was currently drawing up new rules for tax incentives on R&D efforts in the SoC technology park, which is being planned in Nankang. The aim is to attract new research teams to the park and create a center for SoC design innovation, the agency said.
"Taiwan today is the second largest IC design center behind the U.S., but we need to upgrade to a more integrated, value-added orientation," urged Hwang Tai-yang, director of the Office of Committee for Information Industry Development (OCIID), which is under Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. "Taiwan is moving beyond manufacturing operations and fulfilling OEM (original equipment manufacturer) orders, to building up independent IC designing capabilities to ride the major trend of developing SOC for Internet and consumer-related products," he added.
To help Taiwan build out its capabilities in the semiconductor industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs recently outlined new plans for SoC and chip-design investments under its "Silicon Island Project" during an annual semiconductor forum in Taipei. The Ministry said industry groups intend to form an IC design alliance in 2002 and set up a new design company to oversee cooperation with system companies in Asia, including Mainland China. These design efforts will be focused on CD, DVD, telecommunications, and other products, according to the agency.
In addition to the new SoC technology park, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it will encourage multinational corporation to estbalish R&D centers on the island and cooperate with local partners under the new system-on-chip initiative.
According to Taiwan's Industrial Technology Information Service, the production value of the island's IC design industry reached $3.41 billion in 2001, which was a 3.6% increase from $3.29 billion in 2000. The production value of Taiwan's IC designs is expected to grow 24% to $4.23 billion in 2002, according to ITIS, which believes more product development will be transferred to the island as the chip industry recovers this year.
Taiwan is targeting SoC development for broadband wireless applications, networking systems, Internet appliances, digital video, biochips, and intelligent transportation services, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry said it is now earmarking $1 billion (NT$34 billion) for R&D in the next five years for several strategic high-tech industries, including IC design, nano-technology, biotechnology, and third-generation (3G) wireless telecom services.