ASEH is strategically engaged in long-term industry-academia collaboration with reputable universities and colleges that aim to leverage the combined strengths, and drive the development of advanced semiconductor technologies. Through the collaboration, a wide range of industry-specific programs, courses, and internship opportunities were developed for students to foster an enriching learning experience. ASEH seeks to cultivate a new generation of professionals equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, that enhance their employability. ASEH is committed to investing in high tech talent that will help bolster the competitiveness of the semiconductor industry, and equip the workforce to meet the rapid growth of emerging technologies.
ASEH has created key programs like "academia cooperation and corporate internship", "academic research collaboration", and "scholarships" to leverage on the expertise from these academic resources. In 2022, ASEH continued its collaborations with local schools, contributing over US$5.1 million, including US$1.8 million towards 74 technology research collaborations and US$1.1 million for scholarships. We also recruited 410 interns and enrolled 209 students in the semiconductor courses. Nearly 70 schools and research institutions in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, etc. were involved in these collaborations.
2022 Accomplishments of Industry-Academia Collaboration Programs
NSYSU College of Semiconductor and Advanced Technology Research
In response to the decreasing birth rate and the rising demand for advanced technology talent, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan proposed a National Key Fields Industry-University Cooperation and Skilled Personnel Training Regulation in 2020. Following the proposed act, approval was given to the National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) to establish the College of Semiconductor and Advanced Technology Research in 2022. NYSU is a premier university in Taiwan for key science and technology talents, and the semiconductor college will offer courses from the Institute of Advanced Semiconductor Packaging and Testing and the Institute of Precision Electronic Components. As a leading semiconductor packaging and testing player, ASE is proud to have played a significant role together with other industry peers on the establishment of the NSYSU college. ASE and the industry partners are committed to collaborate closely and invest generously to the building of semiconductor talent in Taiwan over the next decade.
The NSYSU College of Semiconductor and Advanced Technology Research is projected to accept 120 students every year - 80 students for the Institute of Advanced Semiconductor Packaging and Testing and 40 students for the Institute of Precision Electronic Components. The student enrolment will create about 960 trained personnel to meet industry needs in the following decade. In 2022, ASE invested a total of US$0.89 million to support the NSYSU College. ASE sponsored a significant portion of students in the Institute of Advanced Semiconductor Packaging and Testing - 65 out of the 80 students. The curriculum is designed with an innovative approach to talent development that comprises one year of academic studies at the university and two years of practical internships at companies. Every student who completes the three-year program is eligible to receive a scholarship of US$33,000.
The faculty of the NSYSU College of Semiconductor and Advanced Technology Research is formed by both university lecturers and industry experts from ASE. They collaborate in the development of the course curriculum and focused research topics that align with industry and technology needs. The NSYSU College is an innovative educational model for workforce development in the semiconductor industry that integrates a high level of industry participation and the strength of NSYSU teaching standards. Students in the program have a direct path to a career in their field of knowledge within the semiconductor industry. During their course of study, they are provided with the latest tools and access to cutting edge industry know-how which they can apply immediately after graduation. The industry-academia led program is an overall win-win for all stakeholders in that it nurtures growth in the southern Taiwan semiconductor cluster, creates job opportunities for graduates, satisfies the needs for industry talent, and ensures Taiwan’s competitiveness in the international semiconductor industry.
Accelerating towards Industry 4.0 through industry-academia research on Automation
ASE Kaohsiung continues to be at the forefront of OSAT smart manufacturing and is unlocking new business opportunities by harnessing the power of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Back in 2015, ASE Kaohsiung begun collaborating with universities on research projects in automation technologies and has since recorded a total of 44 projects. In 2022, we identified 3 key projects to partner with National Cheng Kung University, National Sun Yat-sen University and National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology that can help nurture the practical skills and train semiconductor talent in automation. The synergy generated through such joint research programs will further strengthen technology exchanges and accelerate digital transformation in business.
- Optimization of IIoT database middleware. The high-performance database middleware plays a crucial role in processing massive volumes of data, reducing the data integration cycle by 60% and increasing data processing capacity by at least five times. It enables swift identification of key factors impacting production line yield and efficiency.
- Voiceprint recognition technology for detecting equipment anomaly. The voiceprint recognition technology, developed through AI learning techniques, functions as a predictive system that utilizes voiceprints to forecast maintenance schedules, enhance equipment operation efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and detect otherwise elusive equipment anomalies, ensuring real-time notifications.
- Intelligent image search and retrieval system. The intelligent image search and retrieval system leverages real-time analysis of image files as an auxiliary monitoring tool. By employing AI to identify objects and utilizing neural language planning (NLP), this system replaces labor-intensive retrieval methods, facilitating rapid searches of target objects within vast datasets. Early warning notifications are generated, enabling timely response measures.
ASE Kaohsiung has successfully launched an industrial AI platform with the objective of fostering AI learning environments and offering relevant certification courses across our facility. The company not only accelerates the integration of intelligent technologies within the organization and maximizes work efficiency through the utilization of AI models, but also establishes a vital link between academic AI research advancements and practical industrial applications. ASE Kaohsiung is dedicated to nurturing and developing key talents who are crucial for driving digital transformation, enhancing competitive capabilities in the realm of intelligent solutions, and spearheading industry-wide transformation and growth.
Semiconductor packaging technology research – a decade in the making
To enhance Taiwan's competitiveness in semiconductor packaging and cultivate talent in advanced manufacturing processes, ASE Kaohsiung initiated a research program with National Cheng Kung University and National Sun Yat-sen University in 2012. Over the past decade, a total of 131 research projects have been carried out, resulting in the expanded scope of the semiconductor applications and commercialization of research outcomes. In 2022, we marked the achievements of the industry-academia collaboration at the 10th Packaging Technology Industry-academia Conference, recognizing the university professors’ dedication to research and talent cultivation. The event also showcased the results of 14 projects and, awards were presented for outstanding contributions.
2022 projects. Advanced packaging; an optimized circuit layout design enhances multi-functional integration, low power consumption, and miniaturization. 5G mmWave packaging; Automotive radar sensors, especially in autonomous vehicles, refine sensing distances and improve accuracy in detection, leading to better warning systems and road safety. Research on absorption and diffusion materials for optoelectronic sensing modules; applying advanced packaging technologies to enhance the detection of light signals. ASEH’s work with universities demonstrate the infinite possibilities that can be created to meet rising demands in the digital economy and new business opportunities from big data, cloud computing to high-speed and remote network applications.
Over the past 10 years, ASE Kaohsiung has invested almost NT$100 million in university collaborations, attracting over 500 students, teachers and experts to participate in the program. Our primary focus had been on boosting product quality and optimizing production, where we directed efforts into the development of advanced processes and materials, key technology investments, and penetrating advanced fan-out packaging, optical modules, 5G mmWave packaging, and substrate design and testing business segments. We’re playing a leading role that is geared towards strengthening Taiwan's semiconductor industry in the next decade by cultivating future generations of talent with diverse global perspectives.
University Corporate Mentorships and Practical Application Training
To continue nurturing the much needed skillset and interest in semiconductor engineering, Silicon Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) has been building collaborative relationships with top universities. For nine consecutive years, SPIL has co-organized the University Corporate Mentors program with the National Chung Hsing University. The program organized activities such as; challenges in the semiconductor engineering workforce forum, production line tours, mentor-mentee dinners, forum on graduate students’ work life experiences, and the Team Silicon Adventure competition, for students to gain insights into industry dynamics and explore career interests. SPIL’s program encourage greater student participation and engagement, and directly help to attract outstanding talents and prepare students for employment. In 2022, a total of 156 students participated in the University Corporate Mentors program, accumulating 1,131 hours of participation. In addition to providing students with knowledge and opportunities in the OSAT industry, the program serves as a means for the industry to contribute to schools and society.
Another development in SPIL’s talent development was the Semiconductor Assembly Materials and Processes course established in 2016 together with the National Chung Hsing University and with Feng Chia University in 2022. In addition to co-developing the course subjects, SPIL also sends experienced employees to conduct classes, providing students with the latest information on semiconductor processes and actual industry practices. In 2022, a total of 133 students participated in these courses, accumulating 7,275 hours of participation. SPIL is committed to the practical application training platform to provide students with diverse learning channels that will bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge from textbooks and practical field knowledge.
USI Industry-Academia Collaborations and Internships
Employee education, training and transfer of skills rank highly at USI. To that end, the USI University was established in 2006 to provide free courses covering corporate experiences, management knowledge and the latest technology and industry trends. The USI University actively collaborates with industry and public associations, and universities and provides internally trained instructors to design the courses.
The USI University is aimed at providing opportunities for college students to engage with the job market and interact with industry professionals. The university models courses that apply DISC Personality Assessments, and align with industry-academia experiences, talent selection, corporate competitiveness and career-planning. In 2022, USI University shared a total of 16 courses, with a cumulative duration of 932 hours, contributing to the enhancement of youth employability.
To cultivate students equipped with both practical and theoretical knowledge and integrate learning and application, USI offers industry-academia internships at multiple facilities. We recruit students from various universities for on-site internships and provide one-on-one mentorship and training. This prepares students for a smooth transition into the workplace upon graduation. In 2022, a total of 72 students participated in on-site internships. In addition to providing internship opportunities, USI's Nantou facility collaborated with Yang Ming Chiao Tung University and Taipei University of Technology on research projects focusing on Cross-Component Short Circuit and Insufficient Solder Defect Detection, as well as Reliability Testing for Module Miniaturization. In 2022, a total of 660 students benefited from the industry-academia internship cooperation, accumulating a total of 54,616 hours of participation.