iPhone’s wireless chip maker sets up RM59m warehouse in Penang

lim-guan-engGEORGE TOWN: Broadcom Limited, one of the world’s largest wireless chip makers, has set up a RM59 million global distribution warehouse at Batu Kawan on the mainland here.

Their export revenue is estimated at more than RM60 billion once it is fully operational.

The company is well-known for its supply of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS chips for iPhones, and is also a reputable computer chip supplier for other brands.

More recently, it was reported that it will supply wireless charging chips for the new iPhone 8.

The US tech giant has relocated its two offshore warehouses to Penang, for a faster turnaround time via the Penang International Airport located not far away.

lim-guan-eng1The 150,000 sq ft warehouse is situated on a 2ha piece of land at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, with three levels of storage, replete with robotic operations and GPS-based security tracking.

It will store Broadcom’s products, manufactured in the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia.

At the opening today, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the facility was a welcome boost to Malaysia’s logistics industry.

“About 90% of Broadcom’s products will be exported via air freight. This will increase usage of facilities at Malaysia’s airports, with 300 to 500 million units being shipped every week.

“In fact, Broadcom’s estimated future export revenue will be more than RM60 billion once its principal hub is fully operational.

“This will make Broadcom the largest electrical and electronics (E&E) exporter in Malaysia.

“I am excited to know that the company has plans to expand further, with business spending of RM4.1 billion over the next 10 years, such as global production planning, quality management, strategic procurement and logistics management,” he told reporters here today.

Mustapa said Malaysia is the world’s seventh-largest exporter of E&E products, with total exports worth RM287.7 billion last year.

“This industry has shown an upward trend in exports for the past three years, contributing 36.6% of total exports and 44.6% of the total manufacturing exports in 2016.”

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Broadcom’s new warehouse will spin-off new supply chain businesses in the northern region, creating 300 additional direct job opportunities.

He said at present, Penang’s Broadcom operations employ 500 staff, mainly for upper and middle management, planning, finance, product engineering, development and testing.

“Through the years, talents in Penang have been nurtured and given development opportunities to grow by Broadcom.

“The fruits of these efforts can be seen by the many global industry leaders in the state,” Lim said.

Broadcom’s Penang outfit first began as part of the Hewlett-Packard factory in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone in 1972.

It was formerly known as Avago Technologies Limited before changing its name to Broadcom Limited last year, after acquiring US-based Broadcom Corporation.

Broadcom currently has 1,100 staff in Bayan Lepas and 350 staff at the new facility in Batu Kawan.