Melexis opens US$75.7mil wafer testing site in Malaysia, its largest facility worldwide

  • Located following to X-FAB’s chip factory, one of Melexis ‘ major manufacturers
  • Advanced energy-saving techniques, solar assembly to produce 30k watt per month

(L 2 R): Dr Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, Deputy International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister; Roland Sagah Wee Inn; Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister; Melexis chairwoman, Francoise Chombar; Premier Abang Johari Openg; Deputy Premier, Dr Sim Kui Hian; Peter Van Acker, Belgium ambassador to Malaysia; Francis Harden Hollis, Deputy Education, Innovation and Talent Development; and Siva Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion & Facilitation, MIDA.

Melexis, a Belgium-based global microelectronics engineering company, has opened a US$ 75.76 million ( RM356.5 million ) wafer testing site, its largest globally, in the city of Kuching, in the East Malaysia state of Sarawak. This development demonstrates Melexis ‘ commitment to boosting its presence in the Asia-Pacific place and meeting the growing demand for electronics.

Marc Biron, CEO of Melexis said,” With an investment of €70 million ( US$ 75.76 million ), this opening underscore the ambition of Melexis and will ensure future growth. With Melexis, we are at the forefront of innovation, and this beginning will help us in the areas that we serve”.

The agency’s 35-year journey to meet the growing global demand for semiconductors, which is expected to double in the next ten years, is marked by the development of its presence in Malaysia. Integrated Circuits ( ICs ) are tested on 90 semiconductor wafer test equipment, including 90 of them. Melexis continues to innovate in border sensors and top drivers aimed at current and future applications in the freedom, conservation, robotics, and heath areas. The development will provide all these applications.

Placing the ability in Kuching, next to X-FAB’s chip factory, one of Melexis ‘ vital suppliers headquartered in Germany, is a strategic move to optimize logistics and help minimize the company’s natural footprint. Also, Kuching boasts a different, multilingual, innovative and skilled workforce, more enhancing recruitment potential.

The Belgian-based Melexis believes that Malaysia’s position in the Southeast Asian region, between the East and the West markets, is effective.

Green and future-proof&nbsp,
The new 4-story structure, which was created by award-winning French engineer Sebastian Mortelmans and Sarawakian architect DNA, is the largest Melexis wafer testing facility in the world. The contemporary style referencing local homestead architecture, incorporates sophisticated energy-saving systems, a solar installation that can make 30, 000 kWh per month, and minimises the climate footprint.

Françoise Chombar, Chairwoman of the Board at Melexis, highlights the significance of the green and future-proof tower, stating,” Our constant search for better solutions led us to this new, wonderful tower that embodies the values of Melexis: development with heart, keeping in mind our people and the planet. We are proud of the building’s sustainability because we have gathered lessons from previous experiences. This expansion confirms our ongoing commitment to our Asian customers and will enable Melexis to meet the steadily growing global demand for semiconductor solutions.

Additionally, like a longhouse, the facility is designed with future expansions in mind, ensuring adaptability and scalability to meet growing demands. It will support Melexis ‘ recent start-up research and development initiatives in Kuching. The building respects local customs and has been designed to promote the well-being of the employees who work there, allowing natural light to flow throughout the large, modular offices as well as the manufacturing areas, and with views of the nearby Sarawak river and Mount Santubong.

Significance of Malaysia&nbsp,
To broaden Melexis ‘ presence in the Asia-Pacific market, Malaysia is an optimal choice geographically, culturally, and economically. Initiatives to grow the semiconductor ecosystem are actively supported by the local Sarawak government and the federal Malaysian government.

Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry ( MITI ) said,” The opening of Melexis ‘ largest global wafer testing facility in Sarawak reflects Malaysia’s strong execution of investment projects, while further strengthening the country’s position in the global semiconductor supply chain. As Melexis contributes to Malaysia’s technological advancement, it will also contribute significantly to the socio-economic spillover that will benefit the nearby businesses and communities, making it more inclusive and broad-based in the 2030 New Industrial Master Plan.

The Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Investment ( MINTRED ) Sarawak added,” Melexis has made the right choice to invest in Sama Jaya High Tech Park, Kuching. Sarawak is business-friendly and welcomes investments that can bring about mutual benefits due to its political stability. Sarawak is one of Malaysia’s most popular investment destinations, and it has many advantages over Malaysia in terms of both its strategic location, green energy, its talented workforce, and its suitable land for industrial activities.

Echoing these sentiments, Sikh Shamsul Ibrahim Sikh Abdul Majid, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority ( MIDA ), stated,” By providing comprehensive assistance, we aim to create a conducive environment for technological growth and sustainability. This includes facilitating the flow of necessary resources and streamlining administrative procedures. We make sure to facilitate Melexis ‘ integration into our ecosystem by ensuring they receive the support they need to prosper and make a significant contribution to our technological landscape.

Looking ahead: innovation and growth&nbsp,
In order to promote regional innovation and growth, Melexis is also looking into expanding its network of partnerships with universities and other partners. The Local Pioneer Talent Program, a collaboration between universities and Sarawak Microelectronics Design ( SMD), a government agency with a focus on research and development, was one of these initiatives that formally launched in 2023.