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Vietnam rises as a prominent player amid global chip race

By Khuong Nha   August 13, 2022 | 05:08 pm PT
Vietnam rises as a prominent player amid global chip race
Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken February 25, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Florence Lo
Leading semiconductor manufacturers are increasingly expanding their operations in Vietnam as a global race heats up.

The country has stepped into the spotlight after Samsung, one of the top manufacturers, announced plans to start producing ball grid array products at its plant in the northern Thai Nguyen Province in July 2023.

The move would raise Vietnam’s profile in the microconductor industry thanks to Samsung’s scale and impact, insiders said.

"Vietnam is becoming a new destination for the microconductor industry, thanks to its industrial zones specializing in testing and circuit packaging", Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at Shanghai market research firm ICwise, told Chinese newspaper Global Times.

Samsungs plant in Thai Nguyen Province, northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Samsung

Samsung's plant in Thai Nguyen Province, northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Samsung

Vietnam’s own chip market has the potential to grow by US$1.65 billion by 2025, U.S. market research company Technavio said.

The growing use of internet of things is one of the major drivers of the growth, it added.

Vietnam is also home to a $1.5-billion Intel plant, the largest in the U.S. tech giant’s worldwide manufacturing network.

Speaking to VnExpress in May, Intel general manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, Steve Long, said Vietnam’s stable business environment and young labor force have helped Intel overcome the semiconductor shortage crisis.

But Technavio said Vietnam’s chip industry lacks a skilled labor force and still mostly performs low value added tasks.

There are only 1,000 integrated circuit engineers and 2,000-3,000 embedded system engineers in HCMC despite it being Vietnam’s hub for semiconductors.

"The current number [of engineers] cannot meet the demand of the industry -- which requires tens of thousands of skilled workers", Nguyen Anh Thi, head of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park, said.

 
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