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S&T executive expects Mindanao to become an electronics powerhouse

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By Dhel Nazario

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) is optimistic that Mindanao will soon be a powerhouse of expertise in electronics as the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology becomes a training hub of integrated circuit (IC) designers.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit called on the electronics industry players to train their sights on Mindanao for experts in IC design as MSU-IIT continues to produce highly trained and knowledgeable engineers in the said field.

“Mindanao is not only the land of promise but of promising engineers in the field of electronics. The crop of engineers that MSU-IIT produced under our research programs is at par with their peers elsewhere in the country and may even be better,” he said.

MSU-IIT is on its third year of implementing the “µC-IC: Design of Microprocessor Integrated with Energy Harvesting and Power Management” program that aimed to design and fabricate a customized microcontroller Integrated Circuit (IC) chip that can harvest energy from ambient sources and perform vital functions for smart buildings, smart farming, risk reduction control and industrial applications among others.

Paringit expressed optimism that the program did not only produce good design but better IC designers.

MSU-IIT Engr. Allenn Lowaton, program leader of the µC-IC, said the program was driven with their desire to cultivate microelectronics awareness in Mindanao by designing IC chips.

“We want to be pioneers of R&D in the electronics field by not only delving into designing and fabrication of IC chips but also by preparing the needed human resource for sustainability,” he explained.

Taking off last March 2017, the first MSU-IIT designed chips were fabricated in Taiwan and China have been all executed and are scheduled for testing this April to May 2019 while the second chip fabrications are targeted between August and September this year.

By 2020, deployment of the final wireless sensor network (WSN) Board will be expected together with an industry partner and company customer revisit.

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