Thailand’s BoI plans more foreign semiconductor investment

The Board of Investment (BoI) of Thailand has expressed an interest in attracting further foreign investment for the production of advanced semiconductors this year.

This move comes as numerous businesses from China and Taiwan are looking to expand their investments in Thailand, particularly for printed circuit boards, to circumvent geopolitical risk, said Wirat Tatsaringkansakul, the BoI Deputy Secretary-General.

“Companies will come in clusters, offering more advanced technology.”

Wirat added that Thailand’s robust infrastructure, skilled workforce, and tax privileges make it an attractive option for advanced manufacturing, especially amidst geopolitical tensions.

In 2023, the total investment in semiconductor production in Thailand reached 800 billion baht, as per the BoI’s records.

Sony Device Technology (Thailand) (SDT) recently invested 2.3 billion baht to establish its new semiconductor fabrication facility (Building 4). This facility will be utilised for the assembly of image sensors for automotive applications and display devices, and for the mass production of laser diodes for data centre applications.

Upstream technologies

Takeshi Matsuda, the managing director, stated that the company is considering relocating some upstream technologies of semiconductors from Japan to Thailand in the foreseeable future.

The SDT facility is a 66,370 square metres compound primarily used for the assembly of image sensors for driver safety in cars, micro organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays used in augmented reality and virtual reality headsets, and laser diodes used in data centres.

The new plant is expected to initiate production of laser diodes by mid-year, with manufacturing of image sensors for automotive applications set to begin next year.

Matsuda also shared that the automotive sector and data centres play significant roles in the Thai economy. The new facility is expected to add 2,000 employees to SDT’s existing 1,600 staff within the next three years.

Terushi Shimizu, the chief executive of Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS), stated that SSS is the global leader in complementary metal oxide semiconductor sensors. He added that the assembly of image sensors for cars, micro OLED displays, and laser diodes are part of the company’s medium to long-term plans for future growth.

“The national level importance of semiconductors, which form an important foundation to pave the way for the digital era, cannot be overstated. Innovation is crucial for both Thailand and Japan.”

Sony Group, which has 17 projects in Thailand worth 22 billion baht in total and employs 8,000 people, recently applied for a new investment for integrated circuits worth 5 billion baht, according to the BoI.

SDT’s major production lines are for image sensors used in cameras, revealed executive director Somchok Vukthong.

Business News

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