While actively moving to subsidize the development of AI (artificial intelligence) software by academic and research units, Taiwan’s government must not recklessly cut resources meant for the semiconductor industry, which can significantly support the AI development, according to academic and industry sources.
Wu Chen-wen, a visiting professor at National Tsing Hua University, called for the government to show equal regard for both the semiconductor industry and AI development, reasoning that strong semiconductor support is indispensable to securing successful development of AI or IoT (Internet of Things) applications.
Wu’s call comes as the Taiwan government is likely to sharply increase its investment in the development of AI software programs by sacrificing high-tech development resources long enjoyed by the semiconductor sector.
Echoing Wu’s call, Nicky Lu, chairman of IC design house Etron Technology, said that Taiwan can rival well with Nvidia in the field of AI chips, as long as semiconductor and software sectors join forces to develop AI application chips.
Taiwan’s software engineers are capable of handling semiconductor nanometer designs, and semiconductor firms are quite willing to support young talent in developing AI or IoT software programs, Lu said, adding that it’s high time for overseas Taiwanese software talent to return home to perform on the AI stage.
Taking a different view, Chaney Ho, president of Advantech, proposed that the government take measures to attract more students from India to study in Taiwan and then engage in software development for local enterprises after graduation. This can help to ease Taiwan’s tight supply of software manpower.
In related development, the Asia Silicon Valley Development plan launched by Taiwan’s National Development Council (NDC) has incorporated autonomous vehicles, AI and smart cities for priority development, in a bid to cash in on great business opportunities for IoT applications fueled by the worldwide rapid development of the new hi-tech sectors. The NDC is also actively pushing for pilot field operations to help local businesses carry out related deployments.