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Latvia has every ingredient necessary to become a hub for semiconductor production. The know-how, the manufacturing facilities, the academic backing, the list goes on. Three AmCham members, MikroTik, SAF Tehnika and LightSpace Technologies, are among 13 organizations that could lay the groundwork and provide the skills, knowledge, and talent for semiconductor production.
Latvia already has a host of companies working in silicon and semiconductor manufacturing. While the focus is on small batch production or R&D, the existence of these businesses demonstrate that the highly-skilled human resources and industry know-how are present in the country. With increased investment, the legacy companies will lay the foundation for the launchpad of scaled production.
MikroTik – router software and hardware development and production
MikroTik is a world-leading producer of routers, with their routers being trusted with SpaceX liftoff and more. With a major production line and global demand for their products, MikroTik also has a high demand for semiconductors.
Having a local producer with the global knowledge and expertise as to what those semiconductors should be able to do is a huge advantage in the R&D process. Not to mention MikroTik plays an important role in the supply chain – making sure that those semiconductors have a place to go.
SAF Tehnika – connectivity hardware development and production
SAF Tehnika is one of the leading hardware developers and producers in Latvia, developing a wide range of microwave data transmission devices and technologies. Each one of these makes use of semiconductors.
SAF Tehnika’s expertise in wireless solutions would be a meaningful contribution to the development of semiconductors for similar uses, including wireless microwave data transmission, IoT, environmental monitoring solutions, cloud solutions, and more.
LightSpace Technologies – Augmented Reality technology
LightSpace Technologies is a deeptech company that’s developing various technologies required for the development of augmented reality (AR). They are a global leader in the volumetric, multi-focal, and holographic technology fields, with their own R&D laboratories, industrialization, and fabrication facilities. Among their accomplishments is the invention of the world’s first multi-focal technology that uses multiple screens, which leads to the most realistic AR viewing experience in existence.
AR technology, in order to be connected to the internet, will also require the 5G modules and programming to function at its fullest potential. Having the local know-how and use case represented is key to developing semiconductors for that specific use and other products in that industry.
With a variety of skill sets, technical know-how, specialized premises, already in place, Latvia proves to have high potential. It is an environment where scaling semiconductor production is not only possible but also likely to yield high returns due to the lower cost of operations in the region (with the 5th lowest labour costs per hour in the EU) coupled with ever-growing global demand.
With plans in motion and interested parties already approached, any additional interested investors and global partners are invited to speak to LIAA about participating in this high-returns investment opportunity. Get in touch with Andrejs Berdnikovs at email@example.com about how to get involved.
Source: Labs of Latvia
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Zlata Elksnina-Zascirinska, Country Managing Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers