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.
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