Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Enabling 50 IC Design House In Malaysia

The Issue

It seem impossible to create those number while existing 27 IC Design House by 2020 are in desperation to survive. Then, how can we go through this?


My writing is about my understanding and what I think can help government to plan on steps to success in this area.

The Industrial Status

Currently there are 27 mixed local and foreign IC design house in Malaysia. Some of them are struggling to survive due to lack of customer. Why? These struggling companies usually have the talent to do things but not the talent to sell them. In addition, Malaysia has no strong local electronics and electrical appliances manufacturer to outsource their design works. While the leaders in design house usually have their own initiative to to sell the products and some create a good networking with strong MNCs.

For the support in this industry, many university has take note on the needs of this sector. They have started to collaborate with MNCs to developed their graduates to be a working graduates. Training centres and plug & play centres are ready to accommodate the industry needs. Local wafer fab is ready to support the production. In short, everything is ready for IC design house to operate in Malaysia.

The Way Forward / Solutions

As we know, there are few strong International design house stationed here in Malaysia. Two key words I'll use are, Pyramid & Networking. How?

Make use of the existing International design house to develop local vendor programme. How this programme can benefit them? For example, The A company is a leader in design house. They may have many demand on their products. With demand, the need to increase their supply. With Increment of the supply, there will be increment in cost (in design, the cost is mostly on licensing and overhead/manpower). How to reduce? Hire a niche local design house for niche product. Later, existing plug & play centre can provide the tools for their operations by projects. If one leader can engage 5 local design house, all we need to get is another 9 to success.

Nick Name

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dolphin - They inspire

Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera.Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals and their often friendly appearance and seemingly playful attitude have made them popular in human culture.

Dolphins occasionally leap above the water surface, sometimes performing acrobatic figures (e.g. the Spinner Dolphin). Scientists are not certain about the purpose(s) of the acrobatics. Possibilities include locating schools of fish by looking at above-water signs like feeding birds, communicating with other dolphins, dislodging parasites or simple amusement.

A number of militaries have employed dolphins for various purposes from finding mines to rescuing lost or trapped humans. The military use of dolphins, however, drew scrutiny during the Vietnam War when rumors circulated that the United States Navy was training dolphins to kill Vietnamese divers. However, no evidence to support these rumors ever surfaced, and the United States Navy denies that at any point dolphins were trained for combat. Dolphins are still being trained by the United States Navy on other tasks as part of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. The Russian military is believed to have closed its marine mammal program in the early 1990s. In 2000 the press reported that dolphins trained to kill by the Soviet Navy had been sold to Iran.

(source: Wikipedia)

Red Alert 3 : Bottlenose Dolphin (Allied)

Battlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are incredibly intelligent marine mammals. Specially-trained dolphins are an integral part of the Allied Navy, which used them as scouts and cheap defence against enemy ships.

Dolphins are deployed by Allied commanders primarily as scout units. Allied commanders have fitted the dolphins with special equipments which amplify their sonar pulses, allowing them to actually damage enemy ships. They are highly effective in groups, as their sonic pulses could damage multiple targets at once.

Dolphins had also been trained to jump out of water for a brief moment, allowing them to dodge torpedoes and other weaponry. If they do get hurt, they usually die quickly due to the lack of any serious armor, though they can be healed by an engineer's medical tent.

"Dolphins are not lake creatures! What is going on here?" - Conscript in op. March of the Red Army

(Source : http://cnc.wikia.com)


Innespace Seabreacher (or Sea Breacher) is a two-seat submersible personal watercraft, designed by Rob Innes and Dan Piazza of the American company Innespace. It is the production model of the single-seat Innespace Dolphin. The concept came from VASH (variable attitude submersible hydrofoil), which was invented by Thomas "Doc" Rowe[1] and Dennis "Dusty" Kaiser in 1987 with his boat, Noland Won.

This larger two seat vessel is powered by an Atkins Rotary Marine engine coupled to a Hurth V-drive transmission.

The vessel's shape is based on the shape of a dolphin, and imitates a dolphin's movement.

(Source : Wikipedia & http://www.seabreacher.com)

Note : From Nature to Entertainment, and now they try to Implement it. That's what brain is all about.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Silicon Valley - Moving Up The Value Chain

Silicon Valley is the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California,United States. The term originally referred to the region's large number of silicon chipinnovators and manufacturers. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading high-tech hub because of its large number of cutting-edge entrepreneurs, engineers and venture capitalists.

Since the early twentieth century, Silicon Valley has been home to a vibrant, growing electronics industry. The industry began through experimentation and innovation in the fields of radio, television, and military electronics. Stanford University, its affiliates, and graduates have played a major role in the evolution of this area.

It was in Silicon Valley that the silicon-based integrated circuit, the microprocessor, the microcomputer, among other key technologies, were developed, and has been the site of electronic innovation for over four decades, sustained by about a quarter of a million information technologyworkers. Silicon Valley was formed as a milieu of innovations by the convergence on one site of new technological knowledge; a large pool of skilled engineers and scientists from major universities in the area; generous funding from an assured market with the Defense Department; the development of an efficient network of venture capital firms; and, in the very early stage, the institutional leadership of Stanford University.

Although semiconductors are still a major component of the area's economy, Silicon Valley has been most famous in recent years for innovations in software and Internet services. Silicon Valley has significantly influenced computer operating systems, software, and user interfaces.

Eventually, Silicon Valley is known all the high-tech businesses in the area; it is now generally used as a metonym for the high-tech sector. Software, Tools and other IT products are produce here replacing the traditional manufacturing facilities.

(from Wikipedia)

Malaysian Investment Development Authority

On 31 Mac 2010, Malaysian Prime Minister has announce that Malaysian first point of contact to investor, Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), an agency operate under Ministry of International Trade nad Industry (MITI) is announced to be corporatised and will be given more 'authority' to run the investment promotions activities. New name also has been suggested, Malaysian Investment Development Authority to stay with MIDA acronym.

With this exercise, MIDA will have more power to do promotion without to deal with lengthy bureaucracy processes. As corporate body, MIDA will have the capability move together with EDB of Singapore, BOI Thailand and others. The structure will be determine later and will be completed by end of year. With this announcement, MIDA will be more leaner and can deliver better performance.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Malaysia Need?

We have been focusing on new and emerging technology on electronics Industry, but we forgot to look back at why those 'giant' gain rank in this industry. As such:

1. No Anchor.
I would like to take 2 example, Japan and Korea. Japan has many electrical appliances companies that produce variety of products. As we all know, electrical products is combination of technology from electronics, chemical and mechanical. Sharp start their business producing mechanical pencil, then move to electronics calculator. Later they started to produce TV and other electrical products. Since they own the products, they have the knowledge and capability to go through the market.

In Korea, Samsung. Why they can design high tech products is the same reason as above. They own the technology and they can control the market. In Malaysia, we do have electrical appliances manufacturer as such Pansonic, ECE and Khind. In fact, Pansonic is one of the top brand in India. That means we have the capability. Most of Malaysian brand company, they intend to produce existing products by 'copying' other giant. Less R&D effort to be made. No investment in Pilot Plant. As such, to sustain in the market is quit competitive. Maybe we can compete in 2nd tier market, but don't we have dreams to be known and stand beside Sony, Sharp, Samsung and others. If we have the man power, where should they contribute?

2. Human Capital
We have thousands of high quality engineers. But why our technology is still behind. Nowadays, those engineers were attracted to MNCs which can pay higher, and left the last qualifier to operate in local companies. Some others move to Singapore due to currency exchange. Universities should go through their 'inputs' and focus how train they graduate to be high achiever. Take MIT for example. Giants around the world acknowledge them. What about UTM, UKM, UM, UiTM, MMU, UIA, UniSEL and others? Government should encourage Universities and Higher Education Institutions to work together with these companies. We don't want high result graduate but unable to apply it in the market.

3. Focusing on New Investment only
To develop more technology, investment in high tech is a much. As such, not only we can focus on New investors to knock our door, why don't we ask those existing companies to move up the value chain. New incentives and promotion should be put to those who want to develop and invest in Research and Development. MiGHT, an agency under MOSTI has take thoce lead by promoting the Innovation award. Let see where it will lead in 5 years time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Future of Green Technology

Nowadays, Green Technology is a talk around the world. I'll provide some of current technology related to Green Technology.

1. Solar Power - Lead by 5 Mega solar company, solar power is one of the new resource for green technology. With abundant supply of sun rays, the usage of other option of electricity generation will be reduce. Currently, the best efficiency recorded for solar panel is up to 33% of its penetration can produce energy.

2. LED - The high luminance technology can replace the conventional light bulb and florescent tubes in the light industry. The raw material is basically 'sand' and power consumption is much more lower.

3. Water - 2/3 of Earth is cover with water. New research has been undertook around the world to use water as the alternative power supply. Forecast, this technology should be release into the market within this decade.

4. Power Inverter - Technology that can regenerate energy while using them. More and more new products in the market is equipped with such technology to support the current concern.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flip-Chip Packaging Becomes Competitive

Sally Cole Johnson, Contributing Editor -- Semiconductor International, 5/1/2009

Looking back 15 years ago, nearly everything was wire bonded. Today, flip-chip packaging is taking over. The basic flip-chip concept is to take a chip, place conductive bumps on the connection points, flip it over, put it face down and directly attach it to the circuit. Flip-chips eliminate excess packaging, while providing highly desirable benefits such as miniaturization, high-frequency operation, low parasitics and a high I/O density.

Flip-chips can be found in nearly every hot consumer gadget from cell phones and pagers to MP3 players and digital cameras. In the server space, virtually all logic modules are flip-chip packaged. And most ASICs, gaming, graphics processors, chipsets, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and digital signal processors (DSPs) are now also flip-chip modules.

The cost of gold bonding wire has been on the rise the past few years — making flip-chip even more appealing. "If we look at the cost two to three years ago, flip-chip was inherently more expensive," said Raj Pendse, vice president of flip-chip and emerging products at STATS ChipPAC (Singapore). "Flip-chip substrates typically cost two to three times the amount of a wire bond substrate, but the rising gold costs have evened out the differential in package costs. The flip-chip is becoming more cost-effective over a broader range of applications. In the past, it was used in the 1000 pin count range. It's becoming cost-effective in the 200–700 pin count range.".

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