Samsung Electronics has announced plans to build five new semiconductor factories south of Seoul over the next 20 years in a bid to close the gap with Taiwan’s TSMC in the integrated circuit (IC) foundry business while maintaining its leading position in memory chips.
The factories will be the core of what the South Korean government hopes will become the world’s largest high-tech system semiconductor cluster.
Total investment in the scheme is expected to reach 300 trillion won (US$230 billion). That might sound like a lot of money, but Samsung’s semiconductor capital spending was 47.9 trillion won last year, so the target is likely achievable.
Inspired by the Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan, home of TSMC, Samsung’s cluster is expected to attract several chip design companies and suppliers of equipment, components, materials and related services to fill out the supply chain.
Samsung Electronics said it plans to invest 300 trillion Korean won ($228 billion) in a new semiconductor complex in South Korea, which the government says will be the world’s largest, as part of an aggressive push by the country to take a lead in critical technologies.
The South Korean government is looking to join together its biggest technology companies to spur development in key areas.
The government said Wednesday that 550 trillion won will be invested by the private sector by 2026 in areas including chips, displays, batteries and electric vehicles.
But the big focus is on semiconductors — critical components that go into everything from smartphones to cars — and that have increasingly become a geopolitical focal point.
South Korea’s expansive move is seen as a way to catch up with the U.S.’s own aggressive chip investments. The new 300 trillion won chip complex Samsung is building will be just outside of the South Korean capital of Seoul.
South Korea’s government aims to connect chip facilities in the area from Samsung to other companies to create a semiconductor mega cluster. The idea is to link up various parts of the semiconductor supply chain from chip design to manufacturing.
Semiconductors have become a highly politicized technology and have created a complex dynamic between allied countries, driven by the USA’s twofold strategy.
On the one hand, Washington has pushed to bring chip manufacturing back to U.S. shores and has got commitments from companies including Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC, the biggest contract chip-maker, to build factories.
On the other hand, the U.S. has sought to hold back China’s semiconductor development. Last year, Washington introduced sweeping rules aimed at cutting China off from obtaining or manufacturing key chips and components and the tools required to make them.
In its tech battle with China, the US regime has looked to strike alliances with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands to help cut China off from key technology.
But at the same time, the USA signed the Chips and Science Act which includes $52 billion in support for companies producing chips in a bid to attract investment into America and boost the country’s standing in the semiconductor industry.
For Samsung, the government’s support could help it catch up with TSMC — the biggest contract chip-maker. TSMC manufactures some of the most advanced semiconductors in the world for companies such as Apple.
Samsung, known for consumer electronics and memory chips, is looking to ramp up its contract chip-making, or foundry business.
In October, the company laid out an ambitious roadmap to manufacture the most advanced chips in the world by 2027.
Samsung shares closed 1.3% higher in South Korea last week after the announcement of its chip investment plans.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
To show and confirm how important this leading electronics sector is, we must point to the so-called vanishing of Malaysian Flight MH-370, where 4 Chinese businessmen were neutralized by the West.
These days it is impossible for any plane (aircraft) to disappear from radars or satellite tracking devices, even if these commercial or military do not work Boeing has its own tracking sensor devise build into all its aircraft.
The four Chinese businessmen had a contract signed with JR (Jacob Rothschild) as partners in a Austin, Texas based company, which is now solely owned by JR. Have a nice day.