Growth in spending for test equipment to benefit Malaysia

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia stands to benefit from the growth in the spending for semiconductor equipment this year, which is expected to grow by 5% to 9% from US$3.6bil in 2016. SEMI South-East Asia president Ng Kai Fai told StarBiz

This is because most of the top semiconductor test equipment players are located in Penang.

The spending for test equipment sector in South-East Asia is projected to increase by 5% to 9% also from US$580mil in 2016, Ng said.

On the prospects of the semiconductor industry in the near future, Ng said the current data did not support a reversal unless other economic factors dislodged the projected positive World GDP growth for 2018.

Meanwhile, some of the Penang-based test-equipment and sensor manufacturing companies are projecting strong growth for 2017.

Pentamaster Corp Bhd is targeting to achieve a double-digit percentage growth over its revenue last year of RM151mil.

We are delivering approximately 120 units of semiconductor test-equipment with a market value of about US$48mil to the smart device and automotive industries in 2017, compared with about 80 units a year ago.

In 2016, Pentamaster posted RM26.6mil in net profit on the back of a RM151mil turnover, compared to RM11.9mil and RM83.6mil achieved in 2015.

Elsoft Research Bhd chief executive officer C.E. Tan said the group would deliver in the first half of 2017 test-equipment with a value of about RM27mil.

Some 85% of the orders is for the smart devices and automotive market, while the remaining is for the general lighting industry.

Globetronics Technology Bhd plans record investment of about RM85mil for 2017 to start mass production of new smart sensors.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Heng Huck Lee said that the the group had already invested RM65mil since January 2017 for the production of two new sensors for smart telecommunication device.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics, and semiconductor industries.

Source: Malaysian Trades Union Congress