Domestic chip design sector is booming against the backdrop of the global crisis

Electronic chip designers in Egypt take advantage of its global crisis: While the global shortage of semiconductors has posed a threat to many companies involved in the assembly and manufacture of electronics, there is a sector that is booming due to the current situation. The semiconductor chip design sector, a sector that includes many players in the Egyptian market, has seen growing prospects as overseas electronics companies strive to ensure that their business continues within or through contracting. The company spoke with a number of semiconductor companies to assess the evolution of the local sector and the challenges they face in achieving their full potential.

The domestic chip design sector is boosted by growing demand: Vidatronic, an American company with an office in Egypt that specializes in circuit design of special equipment licensed for use on various semiconductor chips for overseas companies, has seen growing demand for its services since the chip shortage began. , told Sameh Ibrahim, director of design engineering for Enterprise. . “Additional interest in semiconductor design globally has increased the focus in Egypt due to the high quality of our engineers,” Ibrahim said. Vidatronic has clients such as Samsung and, most recently, Intel Foundry Services.

Thrives to the point where new players are entering the semiconductor design market: At least three new chip design companies will start operating in Egypt in the coming period, according to Ibrahim. One such company is InfiniLink, which came as a result of the lack of chips and a huge demand for the engineering talent that can build these chips, said co-founder and chief technology officer Peter George. InfiniLink is an independent semiconductor design company in partnership with Media Tech, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, explained co-founder and CEO Ahmed Abul-Ela. The company will begin working with its customers to build next-generation chips for ultra-high-volume data centers and integrated circuits for enterprise applications. “There is a lot of room in the field of semiconductors to create value now, especially if you have the expertise,” Abul-Ela said.

Will venture capital firms enter this new field? There is a great chance of thatMostafa El-Khouly, vice president of marketing and business development at Pearl Semiconductors, told Enterprise. Pearl, backed by venture capital investments from Sawari Ventures and Seaware Systems, has seen a growing interest in the field as the semiconductor shortage crisis demonstrated the importance of investing in the electronics industry. “For a long time, the focus has been on software, but software also needs the components needed to function,” Boutros adds.

Globally, investors are pouring billions of dollars into start-up businesses designing electronic chips. Especially those used in artificial intelligence applications. In 2021, startups designing chips used in artificial intelligence applications raised up to $ 9.9 billion in capital investment, more than three times the total funding those companies received in 2020, according to BeachBookData research by Wall Street. Journal.

Brain drain is the biggest challenge facing the local industry. According to the sector workers we talked to. Expansion in the field of design and production of electronic chips is a global phenomenon and the demand for Egyptian engineers working in this field is growing. The salaries and benefits that Egyptian engineers receive abroad are much higher and local companies usually can not compete with this. El-Khouly and Ibrahim argue that Egyptian chip design firms offer competitive wages and benefits as stock options, but many engineers tend to travel to countries such as Ireland and Germany. This increases the costs that local companies need to recruit and train new employees due to the high turnover rate.

However, there is a lot of optimism for the prosperity of the sector in the coming periodEspecially in light of the government’s focus on digital transformation, making most government services available online, promoting investment in data centers and modernizing the country’s digital infrastructure.

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