Qualcomm Inc yesterday broke ground on a complex in Hsinchu to house its first overseas Center for Operations, Manufacturing Engineering and Testing (COMET), fulfilling the US company’s promise of investing US$700 million in Taiwan to settle an antitrust lawsuit with the Fair Trade Commission.
The building would also house a 5G testing lab, a multimedia research and development center, and a mobile artificial intelligence enablement center, the San Diego, California-based chipmaker said in a statement released yesterday.
The creation of the centers means that “the collaboration between Qualcomm and Taiwan’s ICT [information and communications technology] industry has marked a new milestone,” Qualcomm senior vice president of manufacturing technology and operations Roawen Chen (陳若文) said in the statement.
The building would accommodate 10,000 staff upon its completion within two years, the statement said.
The centers, which are worth NT$5.5 billion (US$176.8 million), would provide comprehensive 5G testing services from sub-6 gigahertz technology and millimeter-wave technology, the Hsinchu City Government said in a separate statement.
In November last year, Qualcomm said that COMET and the 5G center would make Taiwan second in the world after Silicon Valley in ability to test the cutting-edge technologies.
“The Fair Trade Commission is pleased to see Qualcomm’s move to the Hsinchu Science Park [新竹科學園區],” commission Chairperson Huang Mei-ying (黃美瑛) said in Qualcomm’s statement.
“This is an important step by Qualcomm in boosting investment in Taiwan,” Huang added. “The investment will have a positive effect on Taiwan’s semiconductor and ICT industries, and companies in the supply chain.”
Based on the settlement reached in August last year, Qualcomm would no longer be required to pay the remainder of a NT$23.4 billion fine, after having already paid NT$2.73 billion.
Qualcomm has 700 employees in Taiwan.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
NEW CONSIDERATIONS: An airline manager said the idea is tempting, as demand for air cargo is strong, but issues such as training loaders would need to be addressed Taiwanese airlines might repurpose passenger jets to carry cargo in their cabins to offset lost revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines are considering applying to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) for permission to transport cargo in passenger cabins after StarLux Airlines Co (星宇航空) last month became the first among the nation’s airlines to offer cargo-only flights using the normal cargo holds of its three Airbus SE A321neo passenger jets. “We are considering whether to increase our capacity by putting cargo on passenger seats,” Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) told the Taipei Times by telephone. “The advantage is that we can improve revenue,
GLOBAL CUTS: CEO Warren East said the firm’s focus was on strengthening financial resilience, so it would likely reduce salary costs by at least 10% this year Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC is scrapping its targets and final dividend to shore up its finances as the British aero-engine maker’s customers around the world ground planes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rolls-Royce, one of Britain’s most historic industrial names, which before the pandemic struck was trying to emerge from a multiyear turnaround plan, has suspended its dividend for the first time since 1987. The company’s engines power Airbus SE and Boeing Co’s widebody jets, but more than 60 percent of that fleet is now grounded, according to aviation data provider Cirium. Rolls-Royce is paid by airlines based on how many hours they fly. Over
PAINFUL CONTRACTION: Passenger loads in February on flights between Taiwan and China, Hong Kong and Macau fell by more than 90 percent compared with December Even with more than NT$450 billion (US$14.85 billion) in financial aid from the Executive Yuan’s expanded relief package, local tourism-related businesses are unlikely to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic any time soon, a central bank report released last month said. The NT$1.05 trillion relief package includes NT$472 billion in financial assistance for tourism and transportation sectors, such as airlines, hotels, travel agencies, taxis and tour buses. However, a March 20 central bank report said that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and domestic economies are far greater than that of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, despite any benefits from delayed purchases