Synopsys Commits to Advancing IC Design Talent and Chip Development in Vietnam

Deirdre Hanford

Nov 16, 2023 / 4 min read

In our smart everything world, we continue demanding greater capabilities from silicon chips for the increasingly smarter applications we rely on daily. Yet, a significant semiconductor engineering talent gap looms across the globe, threatening to stall the pace of innovation. Synopsys is committed to fostering a globally diverse supply of semiconductor industry talent and resources. To this end, our latest collaboration is with Vietnam, a nation that we have long believed holds great promise as an important part of the global semiconductor supply chain.

Recently, we signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs):

  • On November 15, we signed an MOU with the Da Nang People’s Committee, aimed at supporting the Da Nang IC Design Incubation Center. As part of this agreement, Synopsys will help connect engineers trained at the Incubation Center with job opportunities with domestic and foreign semiconductor businesses. 
  • Signed on September 18, our MoU with the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC), which operates under the country’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), is aimed at advancing the IC design workforce there. With Synopsys’ support, NIC plans to build up the infrastructure for a new semiconductor design incubation center at Hoa Lac High-Tech Park in Hanoi.
  • Also signed on September 18, a second MoU with the Authority of Information and Communication Technologies Industry (AICTI) of Vietnam, under the country’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), is targeted toward advancing semiconductor development in the country. As part of this effort, Synopsys is supporting the AICTI’s establishment of a Vietnam semiconductor research institute. We plan to consult and provide insights as the AICTI drafts its strategic plan to set up an initial R&D fab and a high-end emulation center to cultivate advanced IC design start-ups and facilitate R&D fab production capability in Vietnam.

The November 15 MOU signing was held in San Francisco while dignitaries were in the region for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2023 summit. President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong along with Nguyen Van Quang, party secretary of Da Nang, and Ho Ky Minh, vice chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, were in attendance as Synopsys and the city made our collaboration official.

Mr. Ho Ky Minh (left), vice chairman of the Da Nang People's Committee, exchanged an MoU in San Francisco with Synopsys, represented by Deirdre Hanford and Lam Trinh, a Synopsys regional sales manager based in Vietnam.

To commemorate the signing of the September MoUs, we had the honor of hosting a delegation from Vietnam including His Excellency, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at our headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Prime Minister Pham met earlier in September with President Biden, who visited Hanoi and participated in the Vietnam-U.S. Innovation & Investment Summit. During the visit, the White House highlighted Synopsys’ investment in the Hanoi IC design incubation center, part of a series of commitments from President Biden and Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong via a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

“This is a time of unprecedented opportunity for Synopsys as semiconductor R&D continues unabated to harness AI and to capture the many opportunities in a world of 'Smart Everything',” said Joachim Kunkel, GM of the Solutions Group at Synopsys, who participated in the Vietnam delegation visit in September. “Not only is Synopsys a catalyst for chip innovation, we are also committed to ensuring a strong, global semiconductor ecosystem. This includes our commitment to the growth and development of our critical industry in Vietnam.”

Vietnam Prime Minster Pham Minh Chinh exits Synopsys headquarters in California along with a delegation of Vietnamese and company leaders following a September ceremony to celebrate a shared commitment to growing Vietnam’s semiconductor capabilities and workforce.

Serving as a Trusted Advisor to the Vietnam Semiconductor Industry

Doing business in Vietnam since 2005, Synopsys opened its first office in the country in 2016. Today, we have four offices across Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Of the 500 employees there, approximately 400 are in R&D roles. We have also been invited by ministries to become a “trusted advisor” to the Vietnam government, supporting semiconductor training and research efforts.

Through our collaboration with Da Nang, Synopsys will provide our University Software Program, which includes software, curriculum, educational resources, and a “train the trainers” offering to support the IC Design Incubation Center. Synopsys also plans to introduce the center to semiconductor organizations, businesses, and corporations in the U.S. and around the world in support of the city’s mission to develop the Vietnamese semiconductor ecosystem and participate more deeply in the global semiconductor supply chain. Complementing these efforts, Synopsys will collaborate with Da Nang to develop and implement workforce development projects for the Vietnamese semiconductor industry.

The aim behind the collaboration with NIC is to not only cultivate an advanced IC design workforce but also facilitate the start-up design community in Vietnam. Synopsys will provide its University Software Program. As part of its work to set up the center over the next three years, the NIC will invest in the IT prototyping and emulation infrastructure, including using Synopsys’ advanced technologies in these areas. Synopsys also plans to connect Vietnamese engineers trained at the NIC IC design center with job opportunities, support NIC’s participation in the global semiconductor supply chain, and work with NIC in the development and implementation of workforce development projects for the Vietnamese semiconductor industry. 

Strengthening IC Design Capabilities in Vietnam

As part of the AICTI collaboration, Synopsys will provide consulting services to develop a strategic plan for the R&D mini fab in Vietnam, which aims to provide high-end prototyping and emulation services.

Robert Li, Synopsys sales vice president for Taiwan and South East Asia, also attended the September MoU signing ceremony and commented: “The AICTI under the MIC is the authority to promote ICT industry growth and support Vietnam joining the semiconductor supply chain worldwide. We are happy to support the MIC as it develops a strategic plan to establish a Vietnam semiconductor research institute featuring Synopsys advanced technology.”

Indeed, the joint activities here should not only accelerate the availability of critical talent, but also further a broader effort between the governments to renew the strength and dynamism of the U.S.-Vietnam relationship. Maintaining a strong global supply chain and talent pipeline will remain critical for continued semiconductor innovation.

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