Conference Agenda

1030 - 1040

Welcome Remarks by Organising Chairman

1040 - 1110

Panel Discussion: Rebuilding & Upskilling Workforce

  • As engineers face time-to-market challenges and greater technology adoption, how do employers stay ahead to expand and upgrade their workforce effectively?
  • Since many factories had to resort to downsizing during the pandemic, and the closure of borders, we now witness a surge in talent demand, while the companies ramp up the hiring process, what are the strategies to upskill the current workforce to reach optimal productivity?

Moderator: Bobby Varanasi, Top 25 "Globalization Powerhouse" Leaders; Top 20 "Future of Work", "Business Strategy", "Digital Disruption" and "Change Management" Global Thought Leaders
Panelist: Howie Chang, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Forward School
Panelist: Shanmuganathan Palanisamy, Chief Executive Officer, Kontron Asia Pacific Design Sdn Bhd

1110 - 1150

Panel Discussion: Workforce Of The Future

  • Addressing the shortage of high-end skills.
  • Can the semiconductor industry yield benefits from Malaysia’s Budget 2022 allocation of RM423 million in grants for companies embarking on research and development activities and RM295 million for public universities to play a role in the research and innovation ecosystem as well as encourage industry collaboration, to build the workforce of the future?
  • Are we ready for Industry 5.0?

Moderator: Ts. Shamsul Anuar Abdul Wahid, Director Corporate Technology, Malaysia’s national Applied Research and Development Centre (MIMOS)
Panelists: AP Dr Fawnizu Hussin, Chair IEEE Malaysia Awards & Recognitions Committee and Associate Professor, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, UTP
Panelists: Sakthivel Narayanasamy, Chief Executive Officer, Galactic Advance Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd

1150 - 1230

Panel Discussion: Retaining Talents & Fostering Employee Trust

With major downsizing efforts because of the pandemic, many players had lost a large talent pool, while the remaining employees can easily get demotivated as a result.

  • How do the key players stay adaptable and mindful of workers’ wellbeing during the lockdowns and post-lockdowns to keep the motivation and productivity high?
  • Malaysian government’s stringent workplace rules added costs of the workforce; can smaller players keep up with this surge in cost while keeping employees’ wellbeing in check?

Moderator: AP Dr Fawnizu Hussin, Chair IEEE Malaysia Awards & Recognitions Committee and Associate Professor, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, UTP
Panelists: Balan Krishnan, Head of Human Resources, Dexcom
Panelists: Muhammad Hilman Rao Abdullah, Human Resources Director, Nexperia

1500 - 1510

Welcome Remarks by Organising Chairman

1510 - 1540

Panel Discussion: Moving Up on the Global Value Chain

Malaysia began this journey into electronics assembly in the 1970s. While the industry faced many challenges, one remains open to date, upgrading the industry's place in the value chain. In 1985, in midst of the recession, Malaysia's First Industrial Master Plan was launched which emphasized the upgrading of skills, technology transfer agreements between MNCs and domestic firms, and the establishment of local suppliers. Today, we have the Malaysian Big Fours as key players. However, the industry's strength remains in assembly and testing, where it holds low value in the value chain.

Unable to invest in the future, small local clusters of semiconductor firms find themselves stuck in a tenuous place low in the value chain, with seemingly few goods prospects.

While Malaysia welcomes investments of complex and high value-added products, how do we push our way ahead in the journey to move up the global value chain? This session identifies the roadblocks and missing puzzles.

Panelists: Kalai Selvan Subramaniam, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Infinecs Systems Sdn Bhd
Panelists: Tarun Kansal, Director, Product Design Engineering, Western Digital
Panelists: CS Tan, General Manager, ST Microelectronics

1540 - 1610

Panel Discussion: The Supply Chain Battle Backlogs

As we brace through the pandemic, Malaysian, as well as other nations across the world had seen many forms of lockdowns. While the lockdowns were necessary to break the Covid-19 chain, we also witnessed many factories suspending their operations or operating in limited capacities here in the 'Silicon Valley of the East. Malaysia accounts for 13% of global chip packaging and testing, and 7% of the world's semiconductor trade passes through the country. The pandemic, along with the Suez Canal incident, and fire and drought incidents at fabrication factories across Japan, Taiwan, and the US, had severely impacted the global chip supply. Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-Hua recently said that Malaysia's help is needed to resolve the global shortage of auto semiconductors, especially when it comes to packaging. Malaysia’s chip assembly industry accounts for more than one-tenth of world trade of more than USD20 billion.

This session focuses on Malaysia’s battle against the backlogs in the semiconductor industry while holding its fort against the spread of new variants; and the challenges ahead with uncertainties from emerging variants of Covid-19.

Moderator: Esugasini Subramaniam, Director, SIG Global Operations & Supply Chain, Micron Technology
Panelists: Ts. Azhar Md Nayan, Regional Managing Director, MSTS Asia Sdn Bhd
Panelists: Gooi Bor Chun, Vice President & General Manager Global Services, Keysight Technologies

1610 - 1640

Panel Discussion: Innovation Against Chip War

As the world demands AI, IoT, 5G, and similar cutting-edge technologies, More Moore has become the mantra for all major chipmakers across the industry. Today, the world’s top three biggest chip giants — Intel, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) — are in the midst of developing 3-nanometre technology. Chipmakers had been investing in ways to increase the computation and memory capacity when the device's physical limits were reached. This had also evoked the need for 'quantum computing', where more than 2 logic states come to play. Malaysia's government’s RM11 billion national 5G rollout plans further fuel the demand.

How do chip makers/design houses/foundries approach innovations while the battle the global chip shortage had soared the price of an average chip? Let’s hear from our very first Malaysian IC company to be accepted for 7-nanometer production for the global market.

Panelists: SK Fong, Founder & CEO, SkyeChip

1640 - 1730

End of 20th EPCON Asia 2022 Meet-Up

0900 - 1000

Registration of 20th EPCON Asia 2022 Conference

1000 - 1005

Opening Remarks by Chairperson, 20th EPCON Asia 2022 Conference

1005 - 1015

Welcome Remarks, 20th EPCON Asia 2022 Conference

Mr. Selva Nagappan

Managing Director, EPCON Asia 2022 & Knowledge Group of Companies

1015 - 1045

The Resilient Road To Recovery

Almost every country had experienced a setback in the economy as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to many factory closures and staff shortages in Malaysian facilities that test and package semiconductors. However, in Southeast Asia, the electronics industry is seen as one of the main industries to help boost sustainable economic recovery.

Many other industries' recovery, especially the automotive industry, is directly dependent on semiconductor supply chains. Post-pandemic, the industry must quickly evaluate and react to impacts of three fronts: supply chain, market demand, and workforce. This session grinds into identifying new strategies to revitalize, restructure and rebuild towards a sustainable future.


Esugasini Subramaniam, Director of SIG Global Operations and Supply Chain, Micron Technology, Penang, Malaysia


Esugasini Subramaniam

1050 - 1120

The Emergence of Responsible Sustainable Investment to Shape Industries’ Carbon Footprints

The manufacturing sector received RM195.1 billion in projects in 2021, a 114% increase over the previous year, with the electrical and electronics industries getting the majority of investment. Penang, which is also Southeast Asia's semiconductor manufacturing powerhouse, attracted the greatest asset, as expected. As chip demand climbs, the semiconductor industry seeks to lessen its large carbon footprint. What are our traces? How do sector players drive the industry toward low-carbon sustainability? What are 'Green Funds,' and how does the rise of ethical investing contribute to the progress of sustainable manufacturing?


Ken Tit Tan, Head of Department(Product Reliability & NPI), Hewlett-Packard Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Penang, Malaysia

1200 - 1230

More than Moore: Can Semiconductor Keep Up With AI, IoT & 5G?

Semiconductor manufacturers are now shifting focus from prioritizing speed and power to efficiency, in order to accommodate the need for computers to "think" and "learn". Combining nonvolatile memory technology and processing logic allows chips to adapt to AI demands. On the other hand, IoI solutions hold perhaps even more economic opportunity than AI. What used to be ordinary devices have now become smart devices, thanks to IoT. Despite market forecasts, IoT devices have produced slower sales volume and lack consistent standards between products. As it stands, semiconductor technology rapidly approaches the limitation of Moore's Law. This session digs deeper into future semiconductor performance.

1235 - 1335

Lunch Break

1340 - 1425

Panel Discussion: Is a Chip Glut Coming?

Chip shortages are typically followed by panic buying and building inventories, then capacity increases, followed by a glut in the market, leading to surplus and inevitable price drops. While that is the usual semiconductor cycle, nobody expects it to happen this soon. The catalyst is a decline in the cost of graphics processing units, or GPUs, which are the brains of the systems and are finding new applications. Following the price decline, analysts at Baird have predicted a decline of around 31% and 37% later this year, respectively, versus a decline of about 22% for the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index. So, most people would regard this news as pretty much localised for now. 

This session discusses:

  • How do the smartphone manufacturers work through their stockpile of five months' worth of inventory before placing orders for the new stock?
  • According to the CEO, sales of PCs, consumer electronics, and appliances are all struggling; how do they deal with the temporary oversupply of items in several areas.
  • There is still unmet demand for silicon, which is used in products for Wi-Fi 6, power conversion, green energy, and analogue-to-digital conversion.         


Esugasini Subramaniam, Director of SIG Global Operations and Supply Chain, Micron Technology, Penang, Malaysia

Hasri Bin Abdul Hasan, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Penang, Malaysia


1430 - 1515

Panel Discussion: Smart Manufacturing Helping Win the Race Between Supply and Demand

Increasing demand from AI and IoT had places immense stress on the semiconductor supply chain. Ongoing international trade disputes had only further driven up the cost of semiconductor materials and interfered with global collaboration within the industry, according to IEEE. Can the key players keep up with customer demand for chips, especially from automakers? How can the AI, IoT, or smart factory accelerate the supply chain, while keeping reliability?


Ernie Sebak, Chief Executive Officer, ESCATEC Electronics Sdn Bhd, Penang, Malaysia

S Asmazura Binti Ismail, General Manager, Investment-Manufacturing of Investment Division, Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Penang, Malaysia

1520 - 1605

Panel Discussion: Digitalization - Is Digital Infrastructure a Barrier to Digitalization?

Despite being at the forefront of digitalization by supplying products that have enabled other industries to pursue digitized operation, is the semiconductor industry lagging behind in terms of digitalization? McKinsey, in a recent article, claims that only 30% of the semiconductor industry device makers surveyed claim to benefit from Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning and related Industry 4.0 technologies. What are the main factors behind the overall slow progress of digital transformation in the industry? Is Digitalization deemed necessary for the industry? This session brings forward the industry's best practices and challenges toward achieving complete digitalization.


Danny, Managing Director, CamLine, Penang, Malaysia

Muhammad Zaki Mohd Saman, Head, Investment Cluster Services of Investment Division, Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Penang, Malaysia

Ken Tit Tan, Head of Department(Product Reliability & NPI), Hewlett-Packard Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Penang, Malaysia

Noorazidi Che Azib, Deputy Vice President, OTSP, Inari Amerton Berhad, Penang, Malaysia


1610 - 1640

Evening Break

1645 - 1730

Panel Discussion: Closing the Talent Gap and Ramping Up for Industry 5.0

Is there enough expertise in AI, quantum computing, and other cutting-edge technologies used in advanced chip design? The start of Industry 5.0 only adds up to the need for more skilled human hands and minds into the industrial framework. Key players invest hundreds of millions in the industry's feeder universities. However, spending more money alone will not close the talent gap. Job deficit could hamper industry growth. What are the long-term remedies beyond educating, training, and upskilling workforces? Are foreign infusions of talents a dire need to close the gap in the region? This session discusses talent strategies and tactics to help make semiconductor companies more attractive destinations.


Dato’ Ts. Dr.  Shanmuganathan Palanisamy, Chief Executive Officer, Kontron Asia Pacific Design Sdn Bhd, Penang, Malaysia

Andy M, Regional Human Resource Director-Malaysia, South Asia & Asia Emerging Market, Dell Technologies, Malaysia



End of 20th EPCON Asia 2022 Conference