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 GLOBETRONICS TECHNOLOGY BHD   GTRONIC (7022) to focus on next-generation sensors

GEORGE TOWN: Globetronics Technology Bhd will focus on developing next-generation sensors targeted at automobiles, consumer, healthcare and electronic products as well as smart and green cities.

According to chief executive officer Datuk Heng Huck Lee, (pic) the group will spend about RM50mil for the development of such sensors via collaboration with several partners this year.

“Our goal is to create a business portfolio that integrates our next generation sensors with LED, laser, and optical devices for a new medium called Metaverse, a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection,” he told StarBiz.

Based on a recent report by Allied Market Research, the global Internet of Things (IoT) sensor industry which was pegged at US$12.4bil (RM53bil) in 2020, is expected to reach US$141.8bil (RM601bil) in 2030.

The sensor industry is also envisaged to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.1% from 2021 to 2030.

“All these will result in astronomical demand for components that we are currently manufacturing and will potentially manufacture in the near future,” explained Heng.

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Furthermore, the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to emerge as the highest contributor in the global smart sensor market, followed by North America and Europe.

This is due to the growing smart cities and rising demand for self-diagnosis, energy conservation, wireless technology across various sectors including automotive, consumer electronics and healthcare, he added.

On the group’s latest progress, Heng noted that Globetronics has in hand three to four projects that could potentially further drive its growth in 2022 and 2023.

“One of the projects involved developing the next generation optical modules.

“These future optical modules are used in sensing and imaging systems of consumer electronics and medical instruments to produce high-brightness displays,” said Heng.

He added that an important market is the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in vehicles, which is expected to fuel demand for optical sensors in the region.

“The rapid adoption of robotic systems is another segment driving the demand for optical sensors.

“Of course, there is also the demand from new smartphones and IoT products designed with high-quality displays,” said Heng.

He also noted that the other two projects are energy-efficient and cost-effective sensors for IoT products, primarily used in green and smart cities, which are interested in employing sensing applications to maintain their competitive edge.

Heng expects the new products to be commercialised by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

The group will also continue to make headway in its product and customer diversification front involving prototype builds of advanced optical components and medical devices with its European customers.

“Some are in the early development stages and will become a solid part of our business portfolio in the next couple of years.

“These are important parts of our business diversification process, where we actively pursue new business opportunities to diversify our customers and product base on a continual basis.

“One of these prototypes waiting to be qualified is an optical sensor that can produce high brightness virtual reality images.

“We have invested in an RM10mil cleanroom facility at our Bayan Lepas plant to mass produce the product in the second half of 2022.

At the same time, the group still aimed for the smartphone segment to contribute about 50% of the group’s sensor revenue in 2022.

To date, the sensor segment comprised about 80% of the group’s annual revenue.

Meanwhile, Heng expects the Russian-Ukraine conflict will disrupt the supply of neon, a critical gas used in advanced semiconductor manufacturing, and palladium which is a critical chemical ingredient used for making memory and sensor chips.

“Although some smartphone manufacturers have already announced production cutbacks due to the uncertainty of raw material supply in the near future, we have yet to receive any signals from our customers that the orders for our smartphone sensors would be impacted,” he noted.

According to Nikkei recent reports, Apple Inc will lower its production of its iPhone and AirPod by 20% owing to a slowdown in demand.

“The drop appears to be a result of the elevating crisis in Ukraine, along with rising inflation,” the report added.

On the US-China trade war, Globetronics recently saw a surge in inquiries from companies in China, which are keen to relocate to Malaysia.

“We are hopeful that all these inquiries will translate into new growth drivers for us in the coming years,” he concluded.

https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2022/04/18/globetronics-to-focus-on-next-generation-sensors

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