AT&S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. is pleased to announce the opening of its new Integrated Circuit (IC) Substrates manufacturing facility in Kulim Hi-Technology Park, Kedah. Representing a groundbreaking chapter in AT&S’s history, this facility stands as a large financial commitment and marks its inaugural production plant in Southeast Asia. So far, the global technology leader invested just over EUR 1 billion in their AT&S Campus in the Kulim HighTech Park. This substantial investment is poised to reshape the economic landscape of Malaysia, generating over 6,000 high-skilled job opportunities.
The ceremony was jointly officiated by YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI); and YB. Dr. Haim Hilman Bin Abdullah, Exco Industry and Investment, Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation.
YB Liew Chin Tong, the Deputy Minister of MITI highlighted, “The semiconductor industry is of tremendous economic and strategic importance to Malaysia, especially in the current geopolitical environment. Holding 7% of global market share in the industry, Malaysia is the world’s sixth largest semiconductor exporter.
As a strategic industry, the semiconductor industry deserves to be at the forefront of MITI’s policy-making priorities. The New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) is a start. Its first mission on advancing economic complexity by moving up the value chain to revitalise our manufacturing sector, is exactly what the semiconductor industry needs. Additionally, by integrating the value chains of semiconductor and other high value-added industries such as automotive and medical, Malaysia will be able to create a more holistic supply chain locally.
To make NIMP 2030’s goals for the semiconductor industry a reality, the Malaysian Government through MITI will take the lead by providing suitable incentives to strengthen the manufacturing and design capabilities of semiconductor companies in order to better linkages between SMEs and MNCs as well facilitating the commercialisation of R&D activities. As such, the recent National Investment Council meeting has decided to establish the National Semiconductor Strategic Task Force to ensure a whole-of-government approach to enhancing the growth of the industry.”
Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), emphasised, “AT&S’s advanced Integrated Circuit (IC) Substrates manufacturing activity will certainly expand our E&E industry solidifying Malaysia’s position as a major production centre for the industry throughout Asia. It will also be a catalyst for existing wafer fabrication plants to expand, securing IC substrate materials and opening up new growth areas that will ultimately generate employment. Managing a complex facility of this nature necessitates a diverse set of skills, especially in high-technology segments. The young Malaysians joining this groundbreaking project are not just entering a job; they are being presented with a unique opportunity to contribute to a rapidly advancing field. I am hopeful that AT&S’s growth here will be nothing but beneficial for our local industry and rakyat.”
Mr. Andreas Gerstenmayer, CEO of AT&S, assured, “This step marks a true milestone for AT&S. With our new state-of-the-art factory for IC substrates, we are able to establish a completely new technology sector in Malaysia, one of the future global microelectronics hotspots. We will not only manufacture high-end IC substrates for high-performance processors at our new facility, but also conduct R&D activities at this location. This creates a win-win situation for both, AT&S as well as the Malaysian society as an investment in R&D is an investment in the future of a country.”
“With the AT&S investment in Malaysia, we are creating thousands of high-tech jobs in the region, till end of this year almost 2500. This will help to set-up the framework for future growth in Malaysia”, says AT&S Board Member and Executive Vice President for BU Microelectronics, Ingolf Schroeder. “We see it as our natural responsibility as an international company, to truly live our social commitment and our positioning as an inclusive, diverse and responsible employer at any new location.”
The Kulim operations, set to launch in Q42024, will specialise integrated circuit (IC) substrates, facilitating connections between silicon dies and printed circuit boards (PCBs). Characterised by multiple layers connected by dense conductor paths, IC substrates surpass the density of conventional PCBs. This advanced technology is increasingly favoured for high-end applications such as edge computing in cloud services, data centres, server farms, and various health and consumer devices, aligning with the trend of continuous miniaturisation in the industry.
MIDA and AT&S had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on long-term research and development partnerships and upskilling programmes with Malaysian universities, training and research institutions. This collaborative effort aims to create highly skilled and high-value-added employment opportunities, aligning with the shared vision of elevating Malaysia’s workforce capabilities. Focused on nurturing talent competence, especially in high end printed circuit boards (PCB) and IC substrates, the MOU signifies a strategic alliance between the two organisations.
The electrical and electronics (E&E) industry assumes a pivotal role in Malaysia’s economy, undergoing a swift transformation towards high-tech, knowledge-intensive and higher-value activities. For the period of January – September of 2023, Malaysia’s E&E industry recorded RM57.4 billion in approved investments with foreign investment making up nearly 98 per cent or RM56.3 billion.