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VN technology firms cash in chips

Update: November, 23/2013 - 08:32
German invested GHP Far East Company specialises in software development and IT operational services in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh

HCM CITY (VNS)— Global technology giants such as Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm have historically hosted representative offices in Viet Nam to boost sales, but their relationship with domestic enterprises has recently deepened.

As the domestic market obtains ever-higher growth rates, global technology groups have tended to apply special policies to domestic firms and Vietnamese consumers, the VietnamNet online newspaper reported, citing Vu Minh Tri, CEO of Microsoft Viet Nam.

Mobiistar, a Vietnamese brand mobile phone manufacturer, joined forces with MediaTek (MTK), a Taiwanese chip manufacturer, to organise a technology forum late last week.

Mobiistar's CEO Ngo Nguyen Kha said the co-organisation of the forum indicated a new level of development in the relationship between Mobiistar and MTK.

According to Kha, Mobiistar began learning about the chips manufactured by MTK in late 2008, while the first feature phones from Mobiistar to use MTK's chips were marketed in June 2009.

At the time, MTK and Mobiistar were simply involved in a buyer and seller relationship. It was not until early 2012, when Mobiistar began producing the S01, a first-generation smartphone, that the two sides entered a new stage of development in their dealings.

In 2007, a group of experts on IC design solutions from Synopsys in the United States arrived at the HCM City National University's Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Center (ICDREC).

They introduced the concept of IC design to the students at ICDREC and lent them the necessary software and machines for practice sessions.

The 2007 batch of students, who grew familiar with IC design, have now become experts and partners of Synopsys.

The lecturer – student relationship between Synopsys and ICDREC has turned into a partnership.

Four years ago, a technical team from Mobiistar also comprised "students" of MTK. After working with MTK specialists for a fixed period, Kha decided that MTK was now sufficiently capable of discussing with MTK any issues related to technology, product quality, and both simple and complex technical errors.

Thieu Phuong Nam, Qualcomm Viet Nam's CEO, regularly appears at events where new smartphone products using Qualcomm's chips are introduced in Viet Nam.

"The ability of Vietnamese manufacturers to utilise advanced technologies in creating their products, from creating designs to perfecting their manufacturing technique, has improved considerably," Nam said.

"They can now master these technologies and the production process," he added.

A Vietnamese manufacturer revealed that in previous years, Vietnamese engineers had felt hesitant when working with Qualcomm's specialists because of their limited knowledge and poor fluency in English. However, much has changed since then.

Since 2013, Microsoft has provided support to strategic partners, ministries and their branches, enterprises and consumers rather than simply selling their products and protecting their software copyrights.

The company has transferred the technology for converting computer-based apps from Windows XP to Windows 7/8 to the FPT, so their Vietnamese partner can support other domestic enterprises.

Microsoft Viet Nam has chosen HPT as their partner in system integration. With this partnership, HPT can access Microsoft's knowledge store to update its information and Microsoft products.

Qualcomm has also provided significant support to the application developers community through annual competitions it has organised since 2007.

With its advantage in the commercial space for processor chips and 3G chips, Qualcomm has provided support to domestic manufacturers, including FPT, Viettel, Q-Mobile and Mobiistar, to make products that are suitable for the domestic market. — VNS

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