Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown

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2021/05/14 00:48:05 (permalink)
Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown (yahoo.com)
South Korea unveiled ambitious plans to spend roughly $450 billion to build the world’s biggest chipmaking base over the next decade, joining China and the U.S. in a global race to dominate the key technology. Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. will lead more than 510 trillion won of investment in semiconductor research and production in the years to 2030 under a national blueprint devised by President Moon Jae-in’s administration. They’ll be among 153 companies fueling the decade-long push, intended to safeguard the nation’s most economically crucial industry. Moon got a briefing from chip executives on the initiative Thursday during a visit to the country’s most advanced chip factory, a Samsung plant south of Seoul.
Samsung is boosting its spending by 30% to $151 billion through 2030 while Hynix is committing $97 billion to expansion at existing facilities in addition to its $106 billion plan for four new plants in Yongin, co-Chief Executive Officer Park Jung-ho said during the event. “Major global competitors are pressing ahead with massive investment to be the first to take the future market,” Moon said in a speech. “Our companies have been taking risks and innovating as well and have completed preparations for tumultuous times.” The effort comes at a time when the U.S., China and the European Union seek to shore up their semiconductor capabilities after a global chip shortage exposed a reliance on just a handful of Asian manufacturers and hobbled efforts to repair pandemic-scarred economies. The shortages are now spreading from autos to smartphones and displays, elevating semiconductors onto the agendas of governments from Washington to Brussels and Beijing. At stake is a technology fundamental to groundbreaking advances from artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles and connected homes. South Korea, a security ally of the U.S. and a major exporter to China, has been walking a tightrope between the two while bolstering its own production prowess. Semiconductors account for the largest share of South Korea’s exports and chip exports are expected to double to $200 billion by 2030, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
Likening semiconductors to rice -- a global dietary staple -- the ministry called them “strategic weapons” in a race for superior technology intensifying among not just firms but also nations. The government seeks to build a “K-semiconductor belt” that stretches dozens of kilometers south of Seoul and brings together chip designers, manufacturers and suppliers, according to the ministry.
Samsung and Hynix make the majority of the world’s memory chips, basic semiconductors that handle storage for all devices. But one area South Korea has been lagging in is the ability to produce advanced logic chips that handle complex calculations for tasks like AI and data processing, a specialty dominated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes Apple Inc.’s iPhone processors. Samsung aims to compete more aggressively in this area, securing some of Nvidia Corp.’s graphics card business and pursuing a bigger share of Qualcomm Inc.’s mobile chips. Hynix too has announced ambitions to get into logic chips. Read more: Data Centers Doubling Is Next Driver of Chip Demand, Hynix Says
The Korean government will incentivize its domestic industry with tax breaks, lower interest rates, eased regulations and reinforced infrastructure, hoping to see its chipmakers make up the distance from the global leaders, the ministry said. The government will also secure adequate water supply for the next 10 years in the targeted region and reinforce power supplies, both essential to advanced chipmaking factories. Korea’s blueprint echoes efforts underway around the world. President Joe Biden wants to dedicate $50 billion to U.S. semiconductor research and production, part of an overall ambition to safeguard America’s supply chains. And China has earmarked hundreds of billions of dollars toward developing its own chipmaking industry, wary of a reliance on Western-designed imports.
South Korea also aims to attract additional foreign investment in advanced technology. Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holdings NV signaled it intends to spend 240 billion won to build a training center in Hwaseong while California-based Lam Research Corp. plans to double its capacity in the country, the ministry said. ”South Korea is essentially beckoning global suppliers to come and work with its homegrown chipmakers so it can build an ecosystem on its soil rather than see them relocate to the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Kim Yang-paeng, semiconductor analyst at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade. “Broadening its investment to foundries and logic chips also guarantees that it has something to fall back on should anything go wrong with the memory chip industry that it’s dominant in.” In terms of direct contributions, the country wants to help train 36,000 chip experts between 2022 and 2031, contribute 1.5 trillion won toward chip research and development and will start discussing legislation tailored to assist the semiconductor industry.
In my opinion this investment won't begin to make a difference for at least a couple of years. 

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    FTW Member
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    Re: Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown 2021/05/14 04:18:43 (permalink)
    Yeah, seems these investments lag in their ability to hit suppliers.  Just wonder where supply will be given advancements in how all these items function.  what else concerns me is access to the raw materials.  There is much talk about the production of chips, but little about the raw materials.  I am also concerned with impact on the environment.  These processes use massive amounts of fresh water.  There much more here than manufacturing.
    Insert Custom Title Here
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    Re: Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown 2021/05/14 09:05:17 (permalink)
    Well, the world is obviously waiting till someone fixes the mess called TSMC for them. TSMC is not a problem, it's a money making opportunity for someone else to take up the slack and improve fab production. People in the US are too stupid to realize that it could be them and they keep on looking to foreign entities to fix the issue. The current administration making national policy is like a really dumb blonde abusive girlfriend. Never does anything right, is stupid as a rock and always complains about everyone else.
    post edited by Brad_Hawthorne - 2021/05/14 09:07:42
    Xavier Zepherious
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    Re: Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown 2021/05/14 10:29:46 (permalink)
    you are still at the MERCY OF CHINA when the  majority (like most of it) of your raw resources in raw earth minerals come from CHINA
    you ask me ...one of the problems we are facing today is not enough supply of resources - due to inadequate mining - either due to covid(manpower) or not having enough countries mine raw earth elements
    South Korea has tp get resources from china - every thing else is too far away
    its about costs to ship it there too as well as time it takes to ship - supply chain is important
    post edited by Xavier Zepherious - 2021/05/14 13:04:44

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    Re: Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown 2021/05/14 11:54:26 (permalink)
    Then we need to start pricing these products accordingly.  Continuing to source them at these low cost areas while we savage our environment to get the raw materials or become beholden to certain countries who will exploit this are not the answer.  More digging and striping the Earth is not the answer.  Appropriate pricing is.  It will impact demand and right size everything.  The only reason we can connect through devises like this is that they are artificially cheaper than they should be.  Thought we would learn that from our food supply and our health care costs, but it seems no one is paying attention.  Chronic diseases are the product of unhealthy food supply and large scale production.  Seems we are making a similar mistake here, as cheaper does not always mean better or the right answer; although, we are conditioned that it is.
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