In Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea will construct the world’s largest high-tech chip cluster, with Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, leading the 300 trillion won ($230 billion) project.
The plan, unveiled on Wednesday during a presidential meeting with Cabinet members on the economy, aims to boost the country’s competitiveness in the chip industry, particularly in the non-memory chip technology sector such as system chips. It is expected to be finished by 2042.
Despite South Korea’s world-class manufacturing capabilities in high-tech industries such as memory chips, OLEDs, and secondary batteries, the country lacks competitiveness in system chips, according to President Yoon Suk Yeol.
Non-memory chips serve as the brain, processing and calculating data, but Korea has only a 2-3% global market share. The new high-tech system chip cluster will be located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, near the world’s largest memory chip manufacturer, Samsung Electronics.
“However, system (non-memory) chips, which are relatively weak compared to memory chips, lack the completeness of the industrial ecosystem and chronic labor shortages are the Achilles heel of our high-tech industry,” Yoon said.
Yoon promised to build the world’s largest chip mega-cluster, surpassing Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park and chip clusters in Texas, by forming a massive ecosystem with related companies in existing semiconductor manufacturing complexes such as Giheung, Hwaseong, Pyeongtaek, Icheon, Yongin, and Pangyo in Gyeonggi Province.
According to the president, the government chose Yongin as the site of the new cluster because the city is home to Samsung Electronics, which already has a large number of existing chip businesses.
“We will build a manufacturing plant, manufacturing support facilities and material handling complex to create a large-scale national industry complex centered on foundries,” the president said.
By 2042, Samsung and the government intend to build five high-tech semiconductor manufacturing plants, attracting up to 150 domestic and foreign materials, parts, and equipment companies, as well as fabless companies. The firm expected to generate 700 trillion won in direct and indirect production and employ 1.6 million Koreans.
Separately, the government will build 14 new national high-tech industrial complexes in the provinces totaling 33 million square meters in order to foster high-tech industries such as space, future cars, and hydrogen.
High-tech industries, according to Yoon, are key growth engines, security assets, and are directly related to our jobs and livelihoods.
“Recently, the economic battlefield that started with semiconductor is expanding to the entire high-tech industry, including batteries and future cars,” Yoon said. “Countries are spending large-scale subsidies and tax support to attract high-tech manufacturing facilities to their own countries.”
Yoon vowed to strongly support private investment for further growth, citing South Korea’s world-class technology and manufacturing capabilities.
“What matters is speed,” Yoon said. “The government will do everything in its power to expedite the creation of the national high-tech industrial complex announced today.”
Yoon hoped that the related act, which would increase tax credits for high-tech industry facility investment, would be passed as soon as possible.
In South Chungcheong Province, the 14 national high-tech industrial complexes include nanotechnology, semiconductors, aerospace, future mobility, hydrogen, and secondary batteries. In Honam, which refers to Gwangju, the South and North Jeolla Provinces, they also manufacture core parts for future vehicles, space launch vehicles, and hydrogen storage and utilization.
The Yeongnam region, which includes the modern-day provinces of North and South Gyeongsang, as well as the self-governing cities of Busan, Daegu, and Ulsan, will include defense and nuclear energy complexes, future automobiles, robots, and biopharmaceuticals, and a small module nuclear power plant.
During the meeting, private companies announced plans to invest more than 550 trillion won by 2026 in six high-tech industries, including system chips, displays, secondary batteries, bio, future cars, and robots.
Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Koo Ja-yeol, chairman of LS Group and the Korea International Trade Association; Kim Byong-joon, acting chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries; and chief executives from Samsung Electronics, SK, LG, Hyundai Motors, and GS Construction attended the meeting.
Source : asianews.network