Ngo Duc Hoang (R) of HCMC IC center signs a production deal with Hiroshi Ochi of Japanese company Radrix. Photo courtesy of Saigon Tiep Thi
A Ho Chi Minh City microchip research and design center signed a production contract with a Japanese technology institute last week, setting the foundation for a chip development program the city started late last year.
The deal between the Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Center at Vietnam National University and Radrix Company with Kyushu Institute of Technology at Kyushu University involves the construction of a 4th generation (4G) wireless chip by 2014, and then a 5G wifi chip, Saigon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) newspaper reported.
4G wifi chips are available in the latest smartphones and tablets while 5G wifi is said to be several times faster and also more power efficient than previous wifi generations.
Ngo Duc Hoang, director of the center, said the 4G wifi chip would cost both sides around US$8 million and thus a joint venture company would be formed to promote the product in Vietnam, Japan and other countries.
Hoang said the Japanese company only agreed to partner with his center after nearly two years of talks and consideration.
He said the deal eventually aims at the commercial outcome of the product, but having a chance to work with and learn from Japanese experts "is already a success for chip development at home."
A group of Vietnamese experts visited several mini-scale chip factories at Kyushu institute last month as part of a plan to build a similar one at home. This is all part of the city's chip development program through 2020.
Hiroshi Ochi, general director of Radrix, said that Ho Chi Minh City's plan to establish a chip business would not be easy.
But the city's vice mayor Le Manh Ha expressed his confidence that the contract signing will open many opportunities for chip development in Vietnam.
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