ASML, a company from the Netherlands that makes machines for creating computer chips, and South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics plan to invest 1 trillion South Korean won (equivalent to $760 million). They aim to build a facility in South Korea that focuses on creating advanced technology for processing semiconductors.
This news was shared during the visit of South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol to the Netherlands. The visit aims to strengthen a partnership known as a “semiconductor alliance” between the two countries.
ASML is the sole producer globally of machines using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, essential for making cutting-edge chips like those found in the latest Apple iPhones, produced by Taiwan’s TSMC.
The technological advancements introduced by ASML are playing a crucial role in driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution worldwide. Dutch semiconductor companies, including ASML and ASM, are establishing new facilities in Korea for production, research and development (R&D), and training new talent, as stated by South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Yoon, accompanied by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, went to ASML’s headquarters and explored the manufacturing site of the latest EUV machines.
‘Turning Point’ for South Korea and Netherlands Ties
Samsung holds the title of the world’s biggest producer of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips, commonly used in devices like smartphones and computers. South Korean chip manufacturers depend on ASML’s EUV machines to create chips that are faster and more efficient than those of their competitors.
The announcement also mentions a partnership between ASML and SK Hynix, a major South Korean chip company and the second-largest DRAM chipmaker globally. This collaboration aims to decrease power consumption and costs for EUV technology by employing hydrogen gas recycling.
Before his trip to the Netherlands, Yoon informed AFP, a media outlet, that semiconductors are crucial for the collaboration between Korea and the Netherlands.
He highlighted “ASML in the Netherlands, known for manufacturing lithography equipment essential for semiconductor production.” Yoon emphasized the exemplary collaboration between the two countries over the years.
According to the president, this visit signifies a pivotal moment for strengthening the semiconductor alliance between Korea and the Netherlands.
He mentioned that “the trip to the Netherlands will assist both nations in creating a well-structured institutional framework. This framework aims to actively manage global semiconductor supply chains,” particularly as semiconductors become strategic assets and geopolitical risks related to global supply chains increase.
The collaboration between ASML and Samsung, marked by substantial investment and technological advancements, represents a pivotal moment in the Korea-Netherlands semiconductor alliance. The visit of President Yoon to the Netherlands underscores the strategic importance of semiconductor partnerships, reflecting a global shift in managing supply chains amid geopolitical challenges.