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South Korean President Proclaims System Semiconductor Vision
Aiming for No. 1 in Foundry, 10% in Fabless Market
South Korean President Proclaims System Semiconductor Vision
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • April 30, 2019, 19:03
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President Moon Jae-in proclaims the government's vision to foster the system semiconductor industry at Samsung Electronics' Hwaseong Campus on April 30.

President Moon Jae-in proclaimed the Korean government’s vision to foster system semiconductors at Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong Campus in Gyeonggi Province on April 30.

Moon said the government will make Korea a semiconductor powerhouse by 2030 by maintaining the world's top position in memory semiconductor, achieving the largest market share in the system semiconductor foundry business and securing a 10 percent market share in the fabless (design) field.

Moon unveiled his plan to foster an industrial ecosystem to cultivate the system semiconductor sector. “A prosperous system semiconductor industry requires investment in people and technologies and a competitive ecosystem,” he said. “We need to promote cooperation and win-win between fabless companies and foundries”

Moon said the government will invest heavily in people and technologies. "We will expand national R&D in the semiconductor field and reflect promising technologies in demand first in government R&D programs. Starting next year, the government will launch a technology development project worth 1 trillion won to secure original technologies for next-generation semiconductors.” Moon also said the government will encourage universities to set up departments for semiconductors to foster engineers.

Regarding the fabless business, Moon said, "Because semiconductor design is separated from production, small and medium-sized companies can jump into the fabless sector." He added, "The government will actively support fabless startups by creating new investment funds for the fabless industry and establishing support systems for each stage of growth.”

Regarding the foundry sector, Moon said, "It is an area where Korea has potential to become the world's No. 1 in a short period of time." He noted that Samsung Electronics has already begun production of 7-nanometer chips that utilize extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography process for the first time in the world.

Referring to Samsung Electronics’ plan to invest 133 trillion won to become the world's top player in the foundry business by 2030, Moon said, “We applaud the setting of grand goals and the government will actively help Samsung attain the goals."

Moon said the government will create demand for system semiconductors in the public sector. “The public sector will generate demand for more than 26 million units of system semiconductors by 2030 and a 240 billion won worth market in the energy sector alone,” he said.

He also said the government will establish a system of cooperation among the five major manufacturing sectors such as automobiles and robots, 5G-related industries, and system semiconductor businesses.

Moon expressed expectations that the system semiconductor sector could become a future growth engine for South Korea. "The system semiconductor field is currently 1.5 times bigger than the memory semiconductor market. Although we still account for about 3 percent of the global system semiconductor market, we can dominate it in the future," he said.

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