The Dutch company ASML, which specializes in the production of equipment necessary for making chips, together with the South Korean firm Samsung Electronics, engaged in manufacturing microcircuits, is investing $760 million in the building of a plant for the development of cutting-edge semiconductor processing technologies.
The mentioned factory will be built in South Korea. The announcement of the new plant was made during the four-day visit of the president of the specified Asian country Yoon Suk-yeol to the Netherlands. The two mentioned states intend to form a semiconductor alliance.
ASML is the world’s only manufacturer of machines for lithography in extreme ultraviolet rays. This equipment is necessary for making advanced chips, which are used, for example, in Apple iPhone smartphones manufactured by the Taiwanese company TSMC.
The administration of the President of South Korea on Tuesday, December 12, said that technological innovations, led by the mentioned Dutch firm, are becoming a powerful driving force of the Fourth Industrial Revolution worldwide. The statement also notes that ASML and another company from the Netherlands ASM are currently building facilities in the Asian country for production, research, development, and training.
On Tuesday, Yoon Suk-yeol visited the headquarters of the Dutch manufacturer of lithography machines together with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The President of South Korea inspected the production site of EUV machines of the new generation.
Samsung is currently the world’s largest maker of dynamic RAM microcircuits, which are used in consumer devices such as computers and smartphones. This company and other South Korean manufacturers rely on EUV ASML machines. The equipment of the Dutch company allows them to make microcircuits, characterized by higher speed of operation and efficiency.
ASML will also collaborate with South Korean chip giant SK Hynix. This Asian company is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of dynamic RAM microcircuits. Cooperation with the Dutch company will allow SK Hynix to reduce energy consumption and decrease EUV costs using hydrogen gas recycling technology.
Yoon Suk-yeol, during a conversation with media representatives, said that semiconductors are the core of cooperation between the Netherlands and South Korea. He noted that the partnership between the two countries is exemplary. According to him, the cooperation of South Korean companies with ASML will be a landmark moment for the semiconductor alliance.
Yoon Suk-yeol stated that the visit to the Netherlands will help both countries to form an institutional structure that will carry out intensive activities in the sphere of global chip supply chains. He also noted that the semiconductor industry is currently facing geopolitical risks. Yoon Suk-yeol stated that currently there is an increase in the process of competition for the conquest of hegemony over new technologies in the global area. The President of South Korea stressed that in this context, the level of strategic value of the semiconductor industry is increasing.
Data from the Dutch Government indicates that South Korea is currently the third largest partner of this European state in Asia. The Netherlands is South Korea’s second most important partner in the EU.
Last November, Yoon Suk-yeol and the Prime Minister of the mentioned European country, Mark Rutte, reached an agreement on strategic cooperation, which, among other things, provides for the development of interaction in the sphere of semiconductors. The next meeting of these politicians will be held on Wednesday, December 13. The media reports that the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the President of South Korea will sign new cooperation agreements.
Seoul may benefit from the fact that Amsterdam has joined Washington’s policy of restricting exports of equipment needed for chip production concerning Beijing. Against this background, there is a need for diversification within Asia. South Korea may be able to increase its production capacity at a time when geopolitical tensions are approaching becoming a factor challenging China’s status as a so-called global factory.
As we have reported earlier, Chip Company ASM to Build US Base in Arizona.