[News] Samsung, ASML Invest KRW 1 Trillion in Korean Research Fab as Netherlands-Korea Semiconductor Alliance Formed

2023-12-13 Semiconductors TrendForce

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol concluded his visit to the Netherlands, announcing the establishment of a “Semiconductor Alliance” between South Korea and the Netherlands. The alliance involves collaboration between Dutch semiconductor equipment giant ASML and South Korean companies Samsung and SK Hynix. This marks South Korea’s first alliance announcement with a specific country.

According to the Korea Times and South Korean President Office’s press release on December 13th, President Yoon Suk Yeol’s held a dialogue with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the state visit to the Netherlands. They issued a joint statement formalizing the “Semiconductor Alliance” and establishing bilateral mechanisms for economic, security, and industrial consultations.

On December 12th, President Yoon Suk Yeol led a delegation to ASML’s headquarters in the Netherlands, including representatives from South Korean semiconductor giants Samsung and SK Hynix, as reported by the Korea Times. During the visit, Samsung and ASML signed an MOU, jointly investing approximately KRW 1 trillion (about USD 7.6 billion) to establish a research fab in South Korea.

Bloomberg also reports that the new fab will expand ASML’s market in South Korea, where it already operates four fabs, servicing clients including Samsung. ASML’s exclusive EUV technology is crucial amid the US-China tech trade tensions, making regional diversification increasingly important for the company.

ASML is a leading global player of semiconductor EUV lithography systems, which is crucial for processing semiconductor manufacturing’s most vital steps. EUV equipment are a pivotal part of chip manufacturing, and ASML can produce only around 60 EUV devices annually. Currently, 70% of ASML’s EUV equipment are purchased by market leader TSMC.

Previous reports from South Korean media highlighted Samsung’s substantial EUV equipment purchases from ASML, totaling 50 units. Samsung is the world’s first company to produce 3nm chips, commencing production of the first-generation 3nm chips in the latter half of 2022. It aims to start mass production of the second-generation 3nm chips in the first half of the next year and targets producing 2nm chips by 2025 and 1.4nm chips by 2027.

Please note that this article cites information from the Korea Times and Bloomberg 

(Image: 대한민국 대통령실)