• The new 20,000-square-foot design centre will focus on the development of next generation high-speed digital and analog instrumentation.

KUALA LUMPUR (June 21): Cohu Inc, a global supplier of equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, on Friday officially opened its design centre in Penang.

The new 20,000-square-foot design centre will focus on the development of next generation high-speed digital and analog instrumentation, the Nasdaq-listed company said in a statement. The design centre will support Cohu's goal to expand its semiconductor test technology, the company said.

The next-generation precision instrument requires the integration of leading-edge technology from high-speed circuit design to custom integrated circuit design, controlled with advanced software systems, it said.

Cohu provides air-cooled architecture and instruments that do not require compressed air or chilled water and consume less power versus a liquid-cooled test system, allowing semiconductor manufacturers to produce more devices with smaller factories and lower energy consumption.

Penang was picked due to the strategic proximity to its contract manufacturer, and customer base, and a well-developed infrastructure, skilled workforce and supportive business environment, said Cohu senior vice president and chief financial officer Jeff Jones.

"We plan to further invest in and expand the engineering design centre by focusing on delivering high precision test solutions enabling our customers to deliver high performance and high-quality semiconductors,” Jones said.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said this new facility will allow local scientists and engineers to extend the frontiers of innovation. Cohu planned to recruit up to 60 research engineers in Penang, he noted.

Meanwhile, the Penang executive council Zairil Khir Johari said Cohu’s high-speed digital instrument design centre will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Often lauded for its well-developed industrial ecosystem, Zairil said Penang has the capacities and capabilities to support the needs of industrial players in next-generation technologies and growth strategies.

"I am optimistic that Cohu will be able to reap many benefits from its operation in Penang, the Silicon Valley of the East," Zairil said in the same statement.

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