28 Feb 2012
SilTerra Plugs into of Power MOSFET Market

KUALA LUMPUR: Semiconductor and wafer manufacturer SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd is eyeing the lucrative Power MOSFET technology microcircuit business.

To help it penetrate that market, it has found a partner in the applied-research organisation Mimos Bhd. Microcircuit technology is able to prolong the battery life of electronic devices such as mobile phones, portable media players and laptop computers.

According to its chief operating officer, Dr Kamarulzaman Mohamed Zin, SilTerra has always had the know-how for Power MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) wafer fabrication. But the company did not have the resources to produce these in the volumes that would enable it to compete in the global arena effectively.

He said the wafer fabrication environment is not "like screwdriver production" because it involves a blend of science, engineering and technology. Wafer fabrication, he said, has been described as among the most challenging manufacturing operations in the world.

"It requires extreme engineering precision and a deep understanding of semiconductors, coupled with tight manufacturing disciplines," explained Kamarulzaman.

With Mimos onboard, SilTerra is able to tap the applied-research organisation's best-in-class designs, R&D and wafer-fab facilities to produce between 2,000 and 3,000 Power MOSFET wafers every month for the global market, China especially.

Each wafer can be used to produce from 1,000 to 2,000 power semiconductor microcircuits, depending on the design.

It is also a win-win situation for both parties because Mimos would benefit from the Power MOSFET technology knowledge transfer, said Kamarulzaman.

Globally, the semiconductor business is huge; last year it was worth about US$300bil (RM900bil), with a compounded annual growth rate of 7% to 12%.

A recent Frost & Sullivan study shows that the global marketshare for power semiconductor accounts for 4.5% of the total semiconductor sales worldwide.

It also shows that in spite of the dip in sales in 2008, demand has been on the rise since then, and this is expected to continue for the next three years thanks to the steep rise in the sale of consumer electronics, particularly in the mobile and communication segments.

Source : The Star