This study evaluates plans to strengthen the competitiveness of the Korean semiconductor industry, which went through restructuring processes as it transitioned into an information-oriented society, and ways to create a foundation for development of the industry.
In the memory sector of the semiconductor industry, production technology required for mass production of standardized products is the key to competitiveness, while design technology required for system operation is critical in the non-memory sector. Korea is leading the market in terms of production technology through scale of economy, with large-scale facility investments focusing on the memory sector, while the United States is taking the lead in software and design development in the non-memory sector, threatening Japan in the global market.
In ending the recession, the semiconductor industry serves as one of the powerful engines of the Korean economy, and has since 1998. With the market penetration of personal computers increasing and the network industry developing, demand for semiconductors and DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) has been surging. However, there was not much facility investment due to restructuring, and new investments in 8 inch manufacturing lines was deterred with the 12 inch wafer production line being reviewed. For this reason, price determination depends on the suppliers. There are not many production varieties in the domestic semiconductor industry and most manufacturers are producing DRAM in Korea. Producer-oriented supply systems such as this one are vulnerable to changes in global markets.
Although Korean semiconductor companies have world-class supply, process specification, price, and quality in the memory sector, the level of technology in the non-memory sector including design technology is much lower than that of technologically advanced countries.
DRAM markets will be expanding in the long term. However, there will not be a surge in demand, as there have been in the past. Moreover, with the profit per investment decreasing, a few companies are likely to dominate the market. Meanwhile, continuous growth is expected in the non-memory sector with the development of telecommunications and satellite communications.
In order to strengthen competitiveness of the domestic semiconductor industry, it is essential to develop non-memory sectors by developing core technologies, fostering experts, supporting small and medium sized design companies. Additionally, active support should be provided to help the memory sectors stay competitive by strengthening infrastructure (technology investment, production, investment, etc.). More specifically, it is necessary to:
1) Provide support knowledge-based start-ups in the industry (Chipless Business, Fabless Business, Silicon Foundry, etc.)
2) Implement “Select and Concentration Strategy” (design technology for system development, software development capacity, etc.)
3) Create new markets for memory sectors (replacement of sound systems and car components)
4) Expand strategic partnerships (improving core technologies such as design, equipment manufacturing and materials, and learning advanced technologies)
5) Increase start-ups by supporting intensive facilities in the ASIC design sectors (concentration of ASIC companies and supporting facilities)
6) Foster the foundry industry and the final testing industry.
반도체산업의 발전 방안(Plans to develop the semiconductor industry)
|Series Title; No||KIET 산업경제|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < Science/Technology|