KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Homegrown semiconductor company, Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, has the capability to contribute positively to the development of the local automotive industry especially in the manufacture of the third national car, says chief executive officer Firdaus Abdullah.
He said the company, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was capable of producing car components as it had in-depth experience in manufacturing semiconductor chips across various industries for more than two decades.
“At Silterra, we’re essentially chipmakers. We have the necessary technology to fabricate chips that will bring new functionalities to the automotive world and beyond.
“However, we need to work together with other parties such as designers and car assembly makers to create automotive prototypes,” he said in an interview with Bernama.
He added that Malaysia could cater for every step in the automotive value-chain, just as the country had built a name for itself in providing world-class manufacturing ecosystems for the healthcare, computing, consumer and communications sectors.
On its business outlook, Firdaus said that Silterra was targeting to expand its market in the United States (US), South Korea, Taiwan and the bigger part of China.
“Currently, 24 per cent of our revenue is contributed by Europe while 11 per cent is from the US. China alone contributes 34 per cent and Taiwan another 31 per cent,” he said.
As of now, Silterra is supplying chips for the makers of Google, Apple and Amazon products, among many others.
“Many Malaysians are not aware that a local company has the technological capability and capacity to produce components for such renowned global brands,” he said.
Despite being criticised back in the day for being unprofitable to the sovereign wealth fund which led to rumours of it being disposed, he said now the company has had an average revenue of RM600 million and profit of RM60 million, for three consecutive years.
“With our strong footprint in the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector, we expect to continue gaining stable net profits despite the global economic slowdown,” he said.
One of its recent success story included being handpicked by China’s leading microelectronic producer, Beijing Yandong Microelectronics Co Ltd, to be its partner in the setting up of an eight-inch wafer fabrication plant in Beijing worth RM2.9 billion.
The semi conductor company also recently acquired the world renowned automotive-compliant International Automotive Task Force certification which has led Silterra to spread its wings further, focusing on world class advanced technologies in the automotive sector.
“As we are part of Khazanah, we must play a vital role in the country’s strategic national interest, by being the catalyst for high technology investments in Malaysia.
In terms of attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country, Hazmi Yusof, Frost and Sullivan Malaysia managing director and senior vice-president for Asia Pacific said Silterra had the capability to attract FDI as it had established a niche offering for advanced technologies in sectors such as life sciences, silicon photonics, smart power, automotive and others.
“Although Malaysia is known as the E&E hub in Southeast Asia, the race to gain FDI over the years has become more competitive.
“With the world focusing on technological advancement, Silterra has had a strong positioning in the global market as a microchip maker, which may positively attract FDI into the country,” he said.
He also added that with more economies in Southeast Asia growing at a fast pace, Malaysian companies must pick one field and be an expert in it, like Silterra and it’s differentiator.
“Chips made by Silterra is used worldwide, in our phones and cars and many others. This demonstrates that its expertise is recognised globally. Other companies, especially those which aspire to grow globally must have a niche and excel in it to continuously instil confidence among investors,” he added. — Bernama
Source: The Malay Mail Online