Early part of this year, as COVID-19 began to spread, semiconductor companies moved swiftly to protect employees and partners by implementing safe distancing and safety measures. At the same time, they secured the supply chain and continued manufacturing to meet the increased demand. COVID-19’s
business impact to the semiconductor industry has been minimal, in fact, there was an increase in demand due to work from home economy and demand in connectivity. However, we are affected operationally due to workforce shortages and, to some extent, supply chain disruption. With this pandemic experience,  semiconductor leaders are looking ahead. It is an opportunity for the industry to emerge bigger and better.

Opportunities for Singapore Semiconductor Industry – Are we ready for it?

Firstly, there is an accelerated drive for digital solutions, both for consumers and manufacturers. Consumers look forward to seamless user experience, whereas manufacturers look forward to realtime
data from Industry Internet of Things (IIoT) and remote access of data analytics for operation control,
improvement and predictability. Secondly, strengthening of the local ecosystem that has been supporting the industry will be crucial. With the COVID-19, circuit breaker and border closure experience in Singapore has brought out the importance of the local workforce and local suppliers supporting the MNC and OEM to
continue operating smoothly. Focusing on attracting, training and retaining skilled local talents has become critical. Adopting and growing local suppliers are also crucial for business continuity. Last but not least,  breaking down the silo barriers of companies and working together will exude strength. With common goals towards improving the local semiconductor ecosystem, it will allow our industry to thrive further.

How Singapore’s Semiconductor Industry Will Look Like 10-20 Years from Now

10-20 years will pass in a blink with the exponential pace of technological progress. Looking forward, Singapore will become an R&D hub with significant advancement in technology. It will be an attribute
of our solid Intellectual Property (IP) laws, stable politics, excellent infrastructure and support to nurture this path. Besides this, we can envision manufacturing plants in Singapore will lead intelligent manufacturing globally and drive the highest productivity and quality. Today, Singapore is already the highest robot density in manufacturing, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Together, let’s partner and strive towards a more vibrant, competitive and sustainable Semiconductor ecosystem in Singapore.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Koh
Julie has recently joined SSIA as Strategic Programs Director. She has over two decades of semiconductor industry experience; worked in the Foundry, Memory, as well as Equipment Supplier. Her key area of expertise includes Fab processes and equipment, manufacturing, customer engineering,  backend supplier management and quality management. She will lead SSIA in developing and managing strategic programs with key stakeholders which include government agencies and partners of SSIA. Julie will play a key role in enabling SSIA to better support the industry’s growth in Singapore.