Pick any electronics device today – a smartphone, tablet, video game console, or a car navigation system. There's a good chance that part of it was designed or made in Singapore. Electronics is the bedrock of the Singapore manufacturing sector, contributing 5.3% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) in 2013. From its modest beginning as the only TV assembly plant in Southeast Asia in the 1960s, Singapore's electronics industry has today grown to become a vital node in the global electronics market.
Today, the role of the electronics industry is rapidly changing. Devices, machines, and systems are becoming increasingly connected and “smart”. Enabling their ability to sense, store, and share information to make decisions will be the lynchpin for developing new solutions for consumers, industries, and societies. Our vision is for Singapore to be a Home in Asia for global leaders that enable an increasingly mobile, connected, and sensory world.
With the continuous shift of the industry's centre of gravity to Asia, Singapore's strong fundamentals in the electronics industry make it a choice location for companies to create and manage new markets, products and processes, technologies, and applications for the region and beyond.
Singapore’s electronics industry is a world-class, innovation-driven hub that provides technology, manufacturing, and business solutions to enable the development of new growth areas. Today, Singapore accounts for one in 10 wafer starts in the world, and 40% of the global hard disc media are manufactured here.
Electronics is the major industry underpinning Singapore's economic growth, and it contributed 29% of the total manufacturing value-add in 2013. Of the S$11.8 billion in fixed asset investments EDB secured in 2014, electronics accounted for 14% of the total investments. Employment for the industry stands at over 79,000, which represents 18% of all manufacturing jobs. In addition, manufacturing of finished electronics products creates many spin-offs to other segments of the economy, such as precision component manufacturers, chemicals and materials suppliers, electronic manufacturing systems companies, and logistics service providers.
Singapore is the choice location for electronics companies to create and manage new markets. Today Singapore is home to:
- Nine of the world's top fifteen fabless semiconductor companies, and close to thirty IC design centres
- Fourteen silicon integrated circuit (“IC”) wafer fabrication plants, including the world's top three wafer foundries
- Fifteen semiconductor assembly and test operations, including five of the world’s top outsourced assembly and test services companies
- Six of the world’s top integrated device manufacturers
- All of the world's top three hard disc media manufacturers
- Four of the world’s top five Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers
Singapore has a full suite of activities to meet business requirements; from R&D to manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics, and regional and global headquarters (“HQ”) functions. More information about infocomm products manufacturing can also be found here.
Singapore offers a business environment with respect for intellectual property, integrity, productivity, and reliability. The human capital that Singapore provides is a ready pool of global talent, achieved through actively encouraging globally qualified personnel to work here. We welcome talents from all over the world to live, work, study, and visit Singapore. Today, Singapore has built up a base of high quality engineering talent to cater to investors' needs. Our electronics sector is also constantly upgrading its workforce and anticipating future demand. In 2013, the electronics sector accounted for 31% of Singapore's total private sector R&D expenditure. This investment will further complement and strengthen the manufacturing and HQ activities here.
Recognising that talent is an important driver of economic growth, we have put in place a comprehensive set of capability development schemes to address the electronics industry's talent needs. In 2010, EDB and the Nanyang Technological University ("NTU") officially opened VIRTUS, a new IC Design Centre of Excellence. VIRTUS trains postgraduate students in analogue and mixed signal IC design, and develops key technologies in new growth areas such as low power management and energy harvesting. In addition, EDB has been actively co-funding scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate electronics studies in specialisations such as wafer fabrication and IC design.
R&D is another differentiating competency for high tech industries. Singapore has invested heavily in this respect. The government raised the R&D budget for 2011-2015 by 20% from the previous 5-year period, with the aim of making Singapore one of the most research-intensive countries in the world. Electronics is one of the major contributors to this goal.
Singapore’s well-developed electronics R&D capabilities range from component-level design and process R&D to system level product design, firmware development, and industrial design. Publicly funded centres like the Institute of Microelectronics (“IME”) and university research centres like VIRTUS IC Design Centre of Excellence and the Photonics Institute at NTU are pushing the boundaries of technology through their cutting edge research.
This strong R&D culture has encouraged companies to establish research centres in Singapore to develop next generation components and products.
Many opportunities are present in this increasingly mobile, connected, and sensory world. Solutions need to be developed and tested rapidly to harness these opportunities in different end-markets. In Singapore, platforms are being built within the public and private sectors to enable players across different industries to gather and co-develop solutions for a networked society.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- In 2013, manufacturing output in the electronics sector reached S$79.1 billion, contributing to 28% of Singapore’s manufacturing output. The electronics industry has a workforce over 79,000.
- Of the S$11.8 billion in fixed asset investments (“FAI”) that EDB secured in 2014, electronics was one of the largest contributors, accounting for 14% of the total investments. When fully implemented, the S$1.6 billion in electronics FAI is expected to contribute S$0.7 billion in value added per annum to Singapore’s GDP.
- There are fourteen silicon IC wafer fabrication plants, fifteen assembly and test operations, and about thirty IC design centres in Singapore. This includes four 12-inch fabrication plants, the world’s top three wafer foundry companies, five of the world’s top assembly and test subcontractor companies, and nine of the world’s top fifteen fabless IC design companies. Some of these include Avago, Fairchild, Micron, MediaTek, United Microelectronics Corporation (“UMC”), United Test and Assembly Center (“UTAC”), Qualcomm, and Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co (“SSMC”). Today, Singapore accounts for one in ten of the world’s ICs.
- Singapore is a leading manufacturer of enterprise hard disc drives with Seagate and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies having significant presence in Singapore. Singapore is also a major hard disc media manufacturing location, accounting for over 40% of the world’s hard disc media volume. Top storage players like Seagate, Showa Denko, and Hoya are expanding their operations here.
- Six of the world’s top 10 EMS companies have significant presence in Singapore. Their operations range from design, high-value manufacturing, supply chain management and regional management. Key players include Flextronics, Sanmina, Celestica, Jabil Circuit, and Venture. Prominent ODM players such as Asustek, Lite-On, and Wistron also have HQ and R&D activities in Singapore.
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