LONDON – The Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) has announced that it plans to support the formation and growth of fabless semiconductor companies in the city state, joining a number of other industry groups with similar goals.
The SSIA is the third group in recent days to propose an initiative that can provide support to fabless chip companies and to argue that help is needed from the supply-chain ecosystem because the traditional source of investment – venture capital firms in Silicon Valley – have largely turned their backs on semiconductor startups in recent years.
The SSIA follows the creation of the Capital-Lite Working Group of the Global Semiconductor Alliance and the formation of the European Microelectronics Academy (EMA). There is also an Indian Microelectronics Academy with similar aims to the EMA.
The SSIA has announced a three-pronged approach to nurturing startup chip firms:
The first step is to provide advice to startups within a semiconductor-focused incubator to guide the creation of Singapore-based fabless chip companies.
The second is to create an emerging company committee within the SSIA, something that is already present within the GSA.
The third step is to work with Singapore government agencies, such as the Economic Development Board, on providing infrastructure support initiatives for emerging semiconductor companies.
Singapore is home to significant chip manufacturing capability belonging to Globalfoundries Inc. – formerly Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte Ltd. – and to STMicroelectronics, as well as having many ancilliary activities or supporting them nearby in Malaysia. Many of the world's leading fabless semiconductor companies also have design operations in Singapore, including Broadcom, Marvell and MediaTek. Singapore also has world-class academic research focused on electronics and semiconductors.
The SSIA recently held an annual summit and support for emerging semiconductor companies in Singapore was one of the major themes of the event.
"There is a real opportunity here to help the semiconductor industry grow stronger, and become more vibrant and supportive of growth and innovation," said Ulf Schneider, SSIA president, in a statement. "Singapore, with its worldwide fabless semiconductor company revenue of $80 billion and an established semiconductor multinational company capability, is the perfect place to facilitate the development of cutting-edge technology. Singapore has a strong semiconductor ecosystem that can be leveraged to enable a competitive advantage for startups."
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