Wed, Feb 28, 2001 - Page 17 News List

NSC planning new systems-on-a-chip design center

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Science Council (國科會) announced plans yesterday to establish a center for designing systems-on-a-chip (SoC) technology.

The center will be created from the council's Chip Implementation Center, officials said. The new chip design center hopes to play a key role in helping Taiwan to become a leader in the information appliance industry.

Experts believe that information appliances will dominate the so-called "post-PC era."

The industry's prospects have attracted players from the computer, communication and consumer sectors.

But to inexpensively manufacture information appliances such as Internet-enabled DVD players, radios or home servers, systems-on-a-chip technology is required.

"The application of SoC in an integrated circuit means that we can manufacture cheaper, more efficient and more reliable" Internet appliances, said Lee Chen-yi (李鎮宜), director general of science council's Chip Implementation Center, yesterday.

Lee said that Taiwan was well-suited to develop systems-on-a-chip technology because of its strong microchip design and manufacturing capabilities.

A white paper released by the chip design center yesterday outlined as goals the promotion of design capabilities in the semiconductor manufacturing industry; establishing research fellowships in the field; and establishing intellectual property databases related to semiconductors.

The white paper also estimates that Taiwan could become the top manufacturer of information appliances within five years.

Paul Lin (林寶樹), president of Philips Research East Asia, said yesterday that the market for the industrial use of information appliances in Taiwan had great potential.

"The estimated value [of the systems-on-a-chip market] will increase to NT$5.494 billion in 2004 from NT$685 million in 2000," Lin estimated.

The National Science Council launched its program for promoting information appliance technology in 1999.

In addition to establishing a new chip design center yesterday, other projects include promoting the "next-generation Internet."

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