South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended a White House summit with US President Joe Biden earlier today, and the main topics of conversation were the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the Biden administration’s plans to establish a strong local chipmaking infrastructure with the help of companies like Samsung. On the other hand, Reuters reported today that the South Korean government is seeking tax cuts and incentives for companies like Samsung; companies that have the required expertise to establish a strong local supply chain.
Samsung may have chosen Austin, Texas, as the main site for its new $18 billion chip manufacturing plant, however, Reuters claims that no new public documentation was filed on the topic since March, indicating that Samsung’s final decision could still be influenced by the Biden administration’s plans to offer tax cuts and incentives to companies who are willing to invest and establish new factories on US soil. After all, the new facility in Austin, Texas, would create roughly 1,800 new jobs.
Time will tell what the Biden administration will decide in this regard, but one thing is clear: both the US Department of Commerce and the Korean Ministry of Industry agreed today that healthy cooperation across the chip industry requires incentives, joint research and development, cooperation on setting standards, and manpower trading and exchange.
South Korea confirms that a new EUV photoresist supplier has entered the scene
As reported exactly one week ago, the world’s only supplier of EUV-based chipset manufacturing equipment, ASML, plans to set up shop in Korea. This could be highly advantageous for Samsung Semiconductor, as the company would most likely find it easier to secure EUV manufacturing equipment locally rather than shipping it from the Netherlands.
But in recent news, it turns out that South Korea’s EUV supply chain will grow even further thanks to a new supplier of photoresist solutions. According to the same Reuters report, the South Korean government confirmed today that US-based chemical company DuPont has announced plans to establish a research & development center in South Korea for the purpose of developing technologies such as photoresist for EUV lithography.
To be precise, DuPont doesn’t plan to manufacture EUV factory equipment and compete with ASML, but instead, the company will strengthen the local photoresist supply chain. The supply of photoresist solutions has been an issue for South Korea and Samsung ever since Japan’s 2019 trade ban.