According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on July 21 that officials will do their best to move towards the goal of a “semiconductor superpower.”
South Korean officials have decided to relax labor rules for chipmakers, allowing workers in the semiconductor industry to increase the maximum weekly working hours from 52 to 64 hours, the report said.
MOTIE said that by the end of 2029, 953 million dollars will be allocated to develop the artificial intelligence (AI) chip industry, and $1,1 billion will be used to support the South Korean chip design industry.
In addition, the South Korean government plans to establish a semiconductor academy to provide customized education and training in 2023, which is expected to train 3,600 professionals in the next five years.
By the end of 2031, it will train 150,000 professionals by supporting specialist institutes and creating relevant courses for non-undergraduate students.
According to Thomson Reuters, MOTIE said on the 20th that the self-sufficiency rate of materials, components and equipment in South Korea’s semiconductor manufacturing industry hopes to increase from the current 30% to 50% in 2030.
Chips have been South Korea’s main export product for nine consecutive years, accounting for 19.9% of exports in 2021.
In an exclusive interview with Thomson Reuters on the 18th, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that South Korea’s huge advanced chip manufacturing capacity is particularly important given the U.S.’s high reliance on TSMC.
European semiconductor equipment supplier ASML Holding NV announced on the 20th that in the second quarter of 2022 (as of July 3, 2022), 33% of the net sales of system equipment came from South Korea, higher than the first quarter 29%.
Esmore CEO Peter Wennink pointed out on the 20th that in the long run, digital transformation will undoubtedly continue, and the trend of automotive chips is very clear. Customers and end customers have mentioned that the content of automotive chips has increased by 4-5 times. These are trends that are happening and are not going away.
The geopolitical situation and the pursuit of technological sovereignty by countries are driving these massive investment and subsidy programs, Wennink said, and these announcements will also intensify the competitive dynamics of the foundry industry.