Eighty percent of the semiconductor chips used in computers around the world at this time next year will be made by the Intel plant in Vietnam, the CEO of Intel Products Vietnam asserted Tuesday.
The abilities of the Vietnamese employees to adapt Intel technologies are great and meet the expectations of the chipmaker, Sherry Boger, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of a ceremony to introduce the new made-in-Vietnam Haswell CPU processor in Ho Chi Minh City.
This could be proven by the chip production of the Intel Products Vietnam plant, located at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in District 9, over the years, she added.
The error rate of the made-in-Vietnam chips is low and no customer has ever asked to return the products because they were defective, according to the CEO.
This enables the company to be confident that 80 percent of the chips sold worldwide at this time next year will be labeled as “made in Vietnam,” Boger pressed.
Intel Products Vietnam on Tuesday celebrated the production of the Haswell CPU, the fourth generation Intel® Core™ processor, which Boger said is good news to not only Intel but also the Southeast Asian country as it is fresh evidence of the Vietnamese workforce’s ability to acquire and integrate new knowledge and technology.
Intel Products Vietnam has more than 1,000 local employees and it took them only two months to be certificated to produce the Haswell processors, which the CEO said is an unexpected success for such a new, hard-to-make product.
The Vietnamese plant is making two of Intel’s flagship products, the SOC (system on a chip), used for tablets and smartphones, and the Haswell CPU, four years after the chip-making titan began its operations at the SHTP in 2010.
It took the Intel factory in China’s Chengdu 15 years, and one in Malaysia 40 years, to reach a similar milestone, Boger said.
The CEO admitted that the localization rate of the Vietnamese plant is “not really high,” with only a few local enterprises qualified to be its equipment and parts suppliers.
Boger said Intel always welcomes Vietnamese suppliers to join its production as it would save money and time because the chipmaker currently has to have its machinery repaired overseas.
Intel targets an 80 percent localization rate in Vietnam, but it can only be achieved if the local suppliers improve themselves to meet the high technology standards of the chipmaker.
In 2010 only three Vietnamese firms could supply parts for the Intel plant, and the figure has risen to 16 after four years.
“It’s a considerable growth and I believe it will continue to rise in the future,” Boger said.
The Vietnam manufacturing site is the largest overseas facility of Intel, according to Boger. It is three times the size of a normal Intel assembly and test plant, and double the size of the company’s Malaysia-based site.
In January 2006, Intel Corp first announced a USS$300 million plan to set up assembly and test facilities in Vietnam. The total registered investment was increased to $1 billion ten months later.
The chipmaker has so far disbursed $450 million into its Vietnamese operations, nearly 50 percent of the registered capital, according to statistics obtained by Tuoi Tre.