The recruitment of CEO Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah from research powerhouse Motorola in 2006 saw MIMOS refocus its energies to become a premier applied research centre in frontier technologies.
For many Malaysians, MIMOS is best known for its JARING Internet Service Provider or ISP, which was the first ISP in Malaysia. During the early days of the internet circa early 1990’s, MIMOS was in fact a pioneer in the region in internet services. (In 2007, JARING separated from MIMOS to become an independent company.) Since then, MIMOS has been keeping itself busy working on various R&D initiatives with an eye on commercialisation to support the advancement of the country’s tech industry.
MIMOS was first conceived as a government microelectronics institute to advance Malaysia’s local electronics industry players as the sector was then, and to some extent even now, dominated by multinational companies. During the early years following its establishment in 1985, the institute has been one of the key players to have shaped the Malaysian ICT industry through the conception of innovative ideas and policies.
The recruitment of CEO Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah from research powerhouse Motorola in 2006 saw MIMOS refocus its energies to become a premier applied research centre in frontier technologies. MIMOS uses the term frontier technology to describe technologies in new and emerging areas of research critical to technological advancement and economic prosperity.
Its commercial approach to R&D dovetails with the country’s Economic Transformation Programme which aims to foster an economy based more on knowledge and technology, which will require highly skilled and therefore more highly paid workers.
Today, MIMOS is involved in areas ranging from advanced analysis and modelling to advanced computing to nanoelectronics. It also developed the National Internet of Things blueprint that is expected to be launched sometime this year.
More recently, MIMOS signed on to be a partner in the National Big Data Analytics (BDA) Innovation Network that is spearheaded by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). As part of the network, MIMOS will supply technology that it developed to help establish a BDA Digital Government Lab. The lab will be crucial in accelerating government adoption of BDA, another emerging ICT field that promises significant economic and social positives.
The centre also plays a key role in many ETP initiatives such as in wafer fabrication and testing, wireless communication and sensor network and developing IC (Integrated Circuit) design firms.
For example, MIMOS designed and developed a green motion controller (GMC) chip together with two private sector partners. The GMC chip is expected to have a wide variety of applications, such as in hybrid electric vehicles and home appliances.
In order to strengthen its technology portfolio, MIMOS has collaborated with several multinational companies such as HP, ESRI, and NVIDIA to develop only the latest technologies. The joint development labs allow for local talents to be domain experts in technology while providing the opportunity for users to experience such technologies.
MIMOS is also home to Southeast Asia’s first GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) R&D center, a result of its collaboration with world famous GPU maker NVIDIA. The centre is aimed at making Malaysia a hub for GPU related research.
“Our primary role is to produce the Intellectual Properties needed for Malaysian companies to be on same the level playing field as the ‘Big Boys’.
“We will help to build the national innovation ecosystem through technology seeding and knowledge transfer through market-driven R&D. We also anticipate that technologies created to generate higher incomes will fuel Malaysian companies further and take them to the next level,” Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah told Business Circle.
Tomorrow: How MIMOS is helping to drive ‘Internet of Things’ and BDA