Vietnam consumes more than 20 billion integrated circuits (IC) worth a combined 2 billion USD a year but most of them are imported, The Saigon Times Daily reported.

Speaking at a recent review conference on the city’s microchip industry, the HCMC Semiconductor Industry Association (HSIA) said this huge demand was a driver for the city to develop the industry.

The association said the city was looking to develop the IC industry into an economic spearhead to speed up the city’s industrialisation.

Many enterprises and experts said Vietnam is considered a high growth market for semiconductor producers as annual demand totals nearly 2 billion USD.

In order to lead the nation’s IC industry development drive and reduce dependence on imports, the city government is implementing a development programme for the chip industry between 2013 and 2020.

After two years of implementation, the city has technically completed relevant legal documents and proceeded to training human resources, doing research, building a centre for IC design and promoting international cooperation.

Some local chips have been successfully commercialised such as SG-8V1, KIT DE-8V1, container locks, galvanometers, digital communications module and management system of radio frequency identification.

Ngo Duc Hoang, Director of the Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Centre (ICDREC) under the Ho Chi Minh City National University, said the world’s microchip sales amounted to nearly 315 billion USD last year. If Vietnam secures small share, it could earn billions of dollars in annual sales.

The city has been facilitating the development of a multi-million-dollar microchip factory project of Saigon Industry Corporation (CNS).

Saigon Semicon ductor Technology Inc., a locally-invested company, has been awarded a certificate to construct an IC manufacturing facility at Saigon High-Tech Park.-VNA