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China launches first 'chip school' as talent shortage facing semiconductor industry

Hands-on, skill-oriented learning will take precedence over theory

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Nanjing Jichengdianlu Institute Limited Compan (wxnmh.com photo)

Nanjing Jichengdianlu Institute Limited Compan (wxnmh.com photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China has opened a school in Nanjing serving as the country's first academy of semiconductor studies to nurture chip talent in order to reduce its reliance on chip imports by boosting investment in home-grown chip production.

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The school, bearing the corporate-sounding name of Nanjing Jichengdianlu Institute Limited Company (中國南京集成電路大學), announced its establishment on Thursday (Oct. 22), saying it's not a traditional academy but more like an institution that connects advanced education and industry to cultivate the talent most in-demand in the chip sector.

There will be more hands-on, skill-oriented learning than theory-intensive courses. Participants therefore will be bestowed a certification instead of a degree, according to Chinese media. The report said China is facing a chip talent shortage of around 100,000 people in 2018 and is expected to reach 261,000 by 2021.

The school will be equipped with two offices, a science park, and five colleges, each featuring a different segment critical to chip production: electronic design automation for integrated circuits (IC), microelectronics, modern IC, future IC, and international IC.

One of the offices will serve teachers and students, while the other is the coaching space for those seeking employment or start-up advice.

The school is targeting students with basic knowledge of semiconductors or who have been working in relevant industries. Senior engineers, industry experts, academic professors, and other professionals will be invited to give lectures or courses on demand, reports said.