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Monday, June 24, 2024

World’s largest chip complex planned for Korea

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President Yoon Suk Yeol, high-ranking government officials and representatives from Samsung Electronics, SK and Hyundai Motor attend a briefing on the establishment of a massive chip complex in Gyeonggi. [YONHAP]
President Yoon Suk Yeol, high-ranking government officials and representatives from Samsung Electronics, SK and Hyundai Motor attend a briefing on the establishment of a massive chip complex in Gyeonggi. [YONHAP]

A massive chip cluster costing 300 trillion won ($230 billion) will be built in Gyeonggi by 2042, the Korean government said Wednesday.

The initiative is part of a broad proposal to further what the government calls “advanced industries,” a list that includes semiconductors, displays, electric vehicle batteries, biopharmaceuticals, connected cars and robots.

Housing at least five chip plants and 150 suppliers, the planned Gyeonggi complex will be the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing site in terms of production capacity, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Funding will come primarily from the private sector, the ministry said. Samsung Electronics will be among those supporting the project.

The location will be in the vicinity of existing chip plants run by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix and facilities of smaller parts companies and chip designers in Gyeonggi.

Chips being produced will be system-on-chips (SoC), including main processors for cars, mobile devices and some PCs, and custom SoCs based on designs from customers.

Of the SoC chips, the cluster will be focused on producing processors designed for artificial intelligence training and chips used in cars and appliances that are manufactured with relatively old manufacturing processes.

Production of chips for cars and appliances was hit by the global chip shortage that began in 2020.

Samsung and SK hynix claim dominant market share in the memory chip market, but their presence in the SoC market is far weaker compared to major players, like Intel, Qualcomm, AMD and Nvidia.

In addition to the Gyeonggi chip site, the government plans to build 14 other complexes focused on six targeted industries.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]