South Korea to pump $19 billion into chip sector amid global building frenzy

Wide shot of Bright Advanced Semiconductor Production Fab Cleanroom with Working Overhead Wafer Transfer System A semiconductor production fab cleanroom (Image: IM Imagery via AdobeStock - stock.adobe.com)

South Korea has announced that it will pump 26 trillion won (US$19 billion) into its chip manufacturing businesses, as semiconductor firms race to build facilities in ‘all-out warfare’.

The support aims to help South Korea keep up in areas like chip design and manufacturing.

Countries around the world ranging from China to the United States have been ploughing tens of billions of dollars via grants and other means to support their own chip sectors.

South Korea is already building a mega chip cluster in Yongin, south of the capital Seoul, touted as the world’s largest high-tech chipmaking complex to attract chip equipment and fabless companies.

President Yoon Suk Yeol said a financial support programme worth about 17 trillion won (US$12 billion) was planned through state-run Korea Development Bank to back investments by semiconductor companies, according to the presidential office.

“As we all know, semiconductors are a field where all-out national warfare is underway. Win or lose, that depends on who can make cutting-edge semiconductors first,” Yoon said at a meeting with top government officials, reported by Reuters.

South Korea, home to the world’s top memory chip makers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, has fallen behind some rivals in areas such as chip design and contract chip manufacturing.

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