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Vietnam's tech future in focus: Nvidia executive in Hanoi for semiconductor deals

Vietnam's tech future in focus: Nvidia executive in Hanoi for semiconductor deals

Sunday, December 10, 2023, 16:41 GMT+7
Vietnam's tech future in focus: Nvidia executive in Hanoi for semiconductor deals
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang introduces an A100 AI chip to Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh when the latter visited the company’s headquarters in the U.S. in September 2023. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

President and CEO Jensen Huang of U.S. multinational chipmaker Nvidia, accompanied by some Nvidia senior officials, arrived in Hanoi on Saturday in preparation for discussions on cooperation deals on semiconductors with Vietnamese tech companies and authorities on Monday, according to a source of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The talks, coordinated by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, are scheduled to take place at the National Innovation Center in the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, between the Nvidia delegation, led by CEO Huang, and representatives of the Vietnamese government and tech firms, news site VnExpress reported, citing a document from the ministry.

The discussions will center on fostering the semiconductor industry in Vietnam and Nvidia’s potential partnerships with Vietnamese tech firms, the ministry revealed.

An industry source familiar with the preparations for the talks told Reuters that Nvidia was expected to reach a tech transfer deal with at least one Vietnamese company.

Three leading Vietnamese conglomerates, including technology firm FPT, Vingroup – the parent company of electric vehicle maker Vinfast – and military-run telecom group Viettel said they would attend the discussions, but declined to comment on any possible deal with Nvidia.

Nvidia, based in California’s Silicon Valley, is the leading American manufacturer of artificial intelligence (AI) chips and graphics processing units, with its current market capitalization topping US$1,100 billion.

In Vietnam, Nvidia is a leading AI server provider, which has cooperated with top local technology companies to deploy AI in the cloud, automotive, and healthcare industries.

The chipmaking group has also signed a cooperation agreement with Viettel with a view to becoming a partner of Vietnam in improving the country’s AI capability.

The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology is looking into the development of a supercomputing system using Nvidia’s A100 chip to support the deployment of the latest AI solutions.

According to Japan’s Nikkei Asia newspaper, the Nvidia CEO is on a business trip to several Southeast Asian countries.

“I have great confidence in Southeast Asia,” Huang told reporters when he arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, one day before he headed for Vietnam.

He underlined that the region will be a very important technology location, as “it is already quite excellent at packaging, assembly, battery manufacturing, and very good at many aspects of the technology supply chain,” Nikkei Asia reported.

Huang’s working trip was undertaken nearly three months after Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited Nvidia’s headquarters on September 18 during his trip to the U.S. for the General Debate of the 78th United Nations General Assembly and other activities.

On that occasion, PM Chinh invited Huang to visit Vietnam and called on Nvidia to set up a chip factory in Vietnam soon, as well as use the Southeast Asian nation as its business base in the region.

Vietnam is now home to large chip assembly and packaging factories of many chip giants, including Intel.

Some Vietnamese tech firms have recently ventured into chip design and manufacturing, eyeing a more integral role in the global semiconductor supply chain in order to build a national semiconductor ecosystem.

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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