South Korea investing in more than just memory chips

The South Korean semiconductor industry has 70 percent of the mobile memory market, but has not been known for complete systems-on-chips. The government is looking to change that, especially as competitive pressure starts growing out of China.

The Korea Herald reports that the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology have pooled together ₩1.5 trillion ($1.34 billion) to build and host new development and manufacturing hubs with an emphasis on systems-on-chip makers. South Korean firms only have 3 percent of the non-memory market.

Some of the traditional DRAM and NAND flash memory chipmakers have also outlined their own spending plans. SK Hynix will pour 15 trillion into a new plant in Icheon and will break ground this year. Meanwhile, Samsung is in the middle of a ₩30 trillion investment tranche executed in 2015.

Apple is looking to change its modems supplier for its iPhone models in 2020 and could choose an alternative to both traditional American providers Qualcomm and Intel.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.