Published on November 9, 2023, 5:00 am

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is launching the Microelectronics Technology Consortium (METC) as part of its ongoing efforts to position the city as a technology and innovation hub in Asia Pacific.

The primary objective of the METC is to develop Hong Kong’s microelectronics ecosystem, further strengthening local re-industrialization initiatives.

According to Sunny Lee, Chairman of ASTRI, the METC will serve as a bridge between academia and industry, facilitating re-industrialization in Hong Kong. It aims to foster collaboration among industry players, academic institutions, and research institutes while contributing to the transformation of Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub.

Lee emphasized that while basic research from ‘0 to 1’ requires innovation and determination, achieving ‘1 to N’ necessitates support from all sectors of society. This support is vital for deep integration between science, technology, and industry, ultimately fostering a thriving microelectronics ecosystem.

Denis Yip, CEO of ASTRI, highlighted that developing the microelectronics industry will not only expand Hong Kong’s re-industrialization talent pool but also inject new impetus into Industry 4.0 and the business community. ASTRI has been conducting research and development in various areas such as 3D integrated chips, third-generation semiconductors, and low-power wireless connection chips for over a decade. Their expertise in operating public platforms and pilot lines, talent support, technology commercialization, and industrialization are widely recognized by both academia and industry.

With the establishment of METC, ASTRI aims to consolidate resources in Hong Kong that can promote technology commercialization while nurturing local talents. The consortium also seeks to foster international cooperation, expand into the Greater Bay Area market (GBA), support re-industrialization efforts in Hong Kong,and transform the city into an innovation-technology hub.

To facilitate regional integration and drive strong competitive microelectronics innovation within METC,strategies include consolidating resources to boost commercialization. By leveraging the pilot line and collaborating with research institutes in Hong Kong, GBA, and overseas, METC plans to centralize resources for developing technologies required for industrialization. This will accelerate the process of bringing products to market.

Additionally, METC aims to scale up collaborative innovation by utilizing a commercialization model and the concept of collaborative innovation. It will effectively integrate local and overseas resources to form an entire industry chain, encompassing materials, equipment, epitaxy, devices, chips, package modules, and systems. The goal is to secure market share in emerging markets for 3D small chips and third-generation semiconductor sectors.

ASTRI has over a decade of experience in microelectronics research and development.It led the way in conducting 3D integration technology research in Greater China since 2006 and participated in key national special projects’ planning. In 2012, ASTRI established the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre for Application Specific Integrated Circuits (CNERC) with approval from the State Ministry of Science and Technology.

Over the years, ASTRI has been committed to promoting the development of microelectronics technology industry in Hong Kong through R&D efforts, engineering transformation,and talent training. Notably, it headed the formulation of China’s Third-Generation Semiconductor Power Electronics Roadmap 2035 in 2016. Additionally, ASTRI actively participates in global collaboration with academia and industry through its representation of China on the IEEE International Technology Roadmap.

The launch of METC highlights Hong Kong’s commitment to developing its microelectronics ecosystem through close cooperation between various stakeholders.The aim is not only to bolster re-industrialization but also enhance competitiveness as an international innovation-technology hub.

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