EXPECTS TO HAVE SUFFICIENT EXPERTS IN 10 YEARS
by Rupa Damodaran
SILTERRA Malaysia, the second largest wafer foundry in
South-East Asia, expects to be self-sufficient in 10 years by
undertaking staff training through internship programmes and
attracting talents home.
In the last six months alone, it has effectively lured back at
least 15 technical experts from Singapore and other places.
“That may not be gigantic figures but we expect the number
to increase as we move ahead,” its chief operating officer
and interim chief executive officer Bruce Gray said.
“Our majority shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd, as well as
the rest, wants us to train as many Malaysian engineers as
possible so that we can be self-sufficient as soon as possible
and bring technology into the country,” Gray, who has been
at the helm of the company since last year, added.
The cornerstone of the semiconductor manufacturing industry in
Malaysia, Silterra is focused on delivering shareholder value
and enabling national design capability.
Its headquarters and factory are located in Kulim, Kedah, and
its sales and marketing offices in San Jose (California),
Scottsdale (Arizona), Hsinchu (Taiwan) and Munich (Germany).
Describing its development model as similar to Taiwanese
contract chip makers United Microelectronics Corp and Taiwan
Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, where employees underwent
training in the US more than a decade ago, he said
Silterra’s 900-odd staff are provided with the same
Its local staff get opportunities to serve in offices
overseas, albeit smaller outfits in Europe and larger sales
offices in the US.
They are exposed to customer engineering, marketing and sales
“We try to encourage folks to go there and spend a year, get
used to business processes, get the education and deal with
customers before they are sent back here.
“As we get bigger, and other sales offices grow, then we
will be rotating folks there as well,” he said, adding that
the company is now looking at Taiwan in terms of proximity to
Malaysia, as well as being the next largest office.
Silterra had recently expanded the Taiwan office as well as
opened an office in Kuala Lumpur and Europe.
Due to the nature of its business where it deals with
proprietary product business models, Silterra only
manufactures orders when the products are successful in the
market place such DVDs, cellphones and certain display models
for Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs).
On high voltage technology, which is proprietary to Silterra,
Gray added that the company has found customers in the display
market areas in Japan and South Korea.
“We hope they will become a larger portion of our business
so that we can service them with customer engineering,
marketing and sales capabilities. That will be the next step
HI-TECH : Silterra wants us to train as many Malaysian
engineers as possible
It currently has 10 customers in the production phase, 10 in
the prototype phase with nine customers in the design phase.
While a majority of them are based in the US, another 30 per
cent are in Taiwan and South Korea.
Under the prototype phase, the percentage of customers from
Europe and South Korea has increased significantly.
“That is an indication of the future mix of business will
look like. Our manufacturing orders come from prototype
success. As you begin to see the mix of your prototype change
geographically, that will give some indication of what the
eventual manufacturing business will look like on a
geographical basis in the future.”
North America contributed the major share of revenue at 73 per
cent and Asia accounted for 27 per cent when the company
recently announced the results of the fiscal second quarter
that ended June 26 2004.
While the company anticipates its first European customers to
initiate production ramps by the end of the year, it also
expects the revenue share for Asia to increase.
It also exported more than 50,000 wafers while improving the
average selling price per wafer by almost 10 per cent on a
Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.:
Market demand driven, SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd is a
semiconductor wafer foundry offering major foundry compatible
CMOS logic, high-voltage and mixed-signal/RF technologies down
to 0.13-micron feature size. This includes complete,
competitive contract manufacturing for fabless and IDM
customers’ designs. SilTerra’s wafer fab has a design
capacity of 40,000 eight-inch wafers per month.
vigilant, SilTerra delivers award winning, world-class
performance to its customers seeking flexible capacity,
competitive advantages and around the clock customer support.
SilTerra is ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001 certified. Founded in
1995, the company’s headquarters and factory are located in
Malaysia’s Kulim High-Tech Park, and SilTerra has sales and
marketing offices in San Jose (California) and Hsinchu
(Taiwan). For additional information on SilTerra or its
services, please visit www.silterra.com.
Koh Meng Kong
+6-012-491-0425 (Cell phone)
Lu Ping Chiang
Tel : +886-3-574-1587 (o)