Dutch chipmaking equipment maker ASML will jointly invest 1 trillion South Korean won ($760 million) with South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics to build a plant in South Korea that will develop cutting-edge semiconductor processing technology.
The announcement came as South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was in the Netherlands on a four-day visit to forge a “semiconductor alliance” between the two countries.
ASML is the world’s only manufacturer of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines required to produce the most advanced chips, such as the latest Apple iPhones manufactured by Taiwan’s TSMC.
“The technological innovation led by ASML is becoming a strong driving force of the Fourth Industrial Revolution around the world, and Dutch semiconductor companies such as ASML and ASM are building new production, research and development and talent training facilities in Korea,” the South Korean president said that Office on Tuesday.
Yoon visited ASML’s headquarters on Tuesday along with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and toured the production facility of next-generation EUV machines.
“Turning point” for relations between Korea and the Netherlands
Samsung is the world’s largest maker of dynamic random access memory chips used in consumer devices such as smartphones and computers. South Korean chipmakers rely on ASML’s EUV machines to produce faster and more efficient chips than competitors.
The statement also said that ASML will work with South Korean chip giant SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest DRAM chip maker, to reduce the power consumption and cost of EUVs through hydrogen gas recycling technology.
Ahead of his visit to the Netherlands, Yoon told media agency AFP that semiconductors are “the linchpin of cooperation between Korea and the Netherlands.”
“The Netherlands is home to ASML, which produces the lithography equipment used to produce semiconductors, and the two countries have been working together ‘in an exemplary manner’ for years,” the president said at the time.
“[This] will mark a crucial turning point for the Korea-Netherlands semiconductor alliance.”
He said this visit to the Netherlands will help both countries create “a well-organized institutional framework that deals intensively with global semiconductor supply chains,” even as semiconductors emerge as strategic assets and geopolitical risks related to global supply chains increase.
Source : www.cnbc.com