Semiconductor chip design center planned for West Lafayette

A Taiwan-based semiconductor company is partnering with Purdue University to establish a new chip design center on the West Lafayette campus.

MediaTek USA announced Tuesday that the center, which is expected to create up to 30 jobs, represents its first partnership with an American university, as well as a new growth model for the company.

The partners did not immediately disclose the financial investment in the center, which will be located at the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said the partnership will focus on chip design in engineering education, as well as joint research into next-generation chip design.

The IEDC has offered MediaTek USA up to $1.4 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will be eligible to claim once Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Purdue Research Foundation has offered additional incentives.

“We believe strongly that being in Indiana means we’ll have access to some of the best engineering talent in the world,” Kou-Hung Lawrence Loh, corporate senior vice president of MediaTek and president of MediaTek USA, said in written remarks. “Not just at Purdue, but West Lafayette is only four hours away from nearly a dozen of the top engineering schools in the country. In the post-pandemic world, top candidates tell us they want to be closer to home, near family, and they want to have a real house and great schools. Indiana offers all that and more.”

The partnership was announced during the SelectUSA Investment Summit by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, and Mung Chiang, dean of the Purdue College of Engineering and president-elect of the university.

MediaTek is billed as the fourth-largest global semiconductor company in the world. The company provides chips for wireless communications, high-definition TVs, and mobile devices, among other products.

MediaTek employs more than 19,000 people worldwide and plans to begin hiring for electrical engineering and chip design positions in West Lafayette soon, it said.

The IEDC said the partnership establishes a new microelectronics ecosystem in West Lafayette. The announcement comes less than a month after the state launched the Accelerating Microelectronics Production & Development Task Force with the goal of becoming a leader in the semiconductor industry.

“Today’s MediaTek’s chip design center investment is a testament to Indiana’s advanced manufacturing expertise, our world-class university talent combined with our state’s best in class business-friendly climate and focus on higher wage industries of the future,” said Chambers. “Our team fully expects that MediaTek’s announcement is just the beginning of semiconductor investment in Indiana, and in the coming years the AMPD task force will be instrumental in facilitating further investment momentum from this critically important industry to the state.”

Late last month, Purdue detailed plans to launch a Semiconductor Degrees Program. The university says it will work with MediaTek to create new chip design engineering degree programs, as well as research on artificial intelligence, and communications chip design.

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One thought on “Semiconductor chip design center planned for West Lafayette

  1. Sounds like a great combined effort between academia and the private
    sector that could have some big pay offs down the road.

    This is something that the Chamver of commerce should tout as an example
    of public private sector collaboration.

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