ASTRI marks breakthroughs in IC technologies through national level R&D in the last five years

[Hong Kong, 4 July 2017] The 8th Management Committee Meeting of the first ever Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC) – set up at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) premises – took place on 3 July 2017. The meeting, hosted in the Chinese city of Nanjing, was an opportunity to discuss the progress in R&D achievements, ITF project fund, industry income, patent, standardisation, future directions, technology roadmap and collaborations. It was chaired by Mr Sunny Lee, Chairman of the Management Committee; member of the ASTRTI Board of Directors; and Vice President (Administration) of the City University of Hong Kong.

The CNERC branch was set up in 2012 dedicated to application specific integrated circuit (IC) systems. Over the years, leveraging the mandate of the CNERC Hong Kong Branch, ASTRI has developed a number of advanced and innovative solutions in various areas including Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), ultra-high-definition and 3D conversion video technologies, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solutions, power electronics modules, packaging and on-chip electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection circuits.

The Branch is a significant contributor to the global 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) NB-IoT standard development, and promotes the overall NB-IoT ecosystem development. It has also worked with leading organisations like CEVA, Keysight, and Huawei. Its achievements  in video technologies include Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) image processing accelerator developed; ‘glass-free 3D image processing’ demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in partnership with Marvel Digital; Joint R&D Lab on ultra-high-definition television technology with the Chinese Academy of Broadcasting Science; and a partnership with AccoreSys to develop face recognition solutions based on artificial intelligence.

ASTRI has received official recognition from China Advanced Semiconductor Industry Innovation Alliance (CASA) and the IEEE International Technology Roadmap for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (ITRW). R&D work in high-power electronic modules has seen strong collaboration between ASTRI and several companies such as CETC, CSSC, H3C, Guangdong Rising Assets Management, CRRC, CSG, Huawei, Infineon, ZTE, China Southern Airlines, BYD and CLP Group. Development of advanced wide bandgap semiconductors, fully moulded 3D integrated structure, world-class integrated power modules etc are among the key achievements in this field.

A major milestone for ASTRI was the establishment of the Advanced Packaging Technologies Consortium (APTC) in 2006. Led by ASTRI, the Consortium has over 60 members from R&D and academic communities, as well as industrial sectors including foundries, packaging subcontractors, materials & equipment manufacturers, IDMs, design houses, and testing services. It promotes innovation and developments in packaging technology through participation in international forums, and spearheads the elevation of China’s packaging sectors to the most advanced global standards.

Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI said, “The CNERC Branch in ASTRI focuses on delivering cost-effective solutions for cutting-edge products and applications – enabling companies to offer the most sophisticated devices and interfaces to consumers. The Branch plays its part in developing innovative technologies that benefit enterprises in Hong Kong, the Mainland, and beyond.”

[Photo caption] Participants in the meeting included Mr Sunny Lee (4th from left), Chairman of the Management Committee; member of ASTRI Board of Directors; and Vice President (Administration) of the City University of Hong Kong; Professor Longxing Shi (3rd from left), Director of CNERC for ASIC System; Mr Vincent Tang (5th from right), Assistant Commissioner (Infrastructure and Quality Services) of the Innovation and Technology Commission; Dr Davy Lo (5th from left), Member of ASTRI Board of Directors; Mr Chuck Cheng (4th from right), CEO and President of AppoTech Ltd., Member of ASTRI Board of Directors; Mr Bill Zhang, Senior Director, Mixed Signal Systems IC of ASTRI; and Mr YK Li, Senior Director,  Advanced Digital Systems of ASTRI.



Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.  ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit.

In 2006, ASTRI was designated as the Hong Kong Research and Development Centre for Information and Communications Technologies by the Innovation and Technology Commission. In 2012, ASTRI was given an approval from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) under the Central Government’s State Council to establish the first Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC) for Application Specific Integrated Circuit System in collaboration with Southeast University (SEU) in Nanjing.

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