Dutch semiconductor equipment company ASM is investing approximately $100 million (KRW131.2 billion) in South Korea to establish a second production line in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. The line, which will be fully operational by 2025, is expected to expand sales in time for a rebound in the semiconductor market, which is coming out of a recession. ASM reportedly consulted with domestic semiconductor companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix in the process of making this investment decision.
On the 23rd, ASM held its first press conference in Korea at Chosun Palace Seoul Gangnam in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, announcing the expansion of its second manufacturing research and innovation center in Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, and its continued expansion of domestic investments. “ASM produces semiconductor equipment in the U.S., Singapore, and South Korea,” said ASM CEO Benjamin Law. “The new center will produce plasma atomic layer deposition (PEALD) equipment, which is essential to the manufacturing process of D-RAM, NAND Flash, and system semiconductors.”
ASM, ranked seventh in the world by revenue, was founded in the Netherlands in 1968 and is a supplier of atomic layer deposition (ALD), epitaxy, plasma atomic layer deposition (PEALD), and vertical furnace technologies and equipment used in advanced semiconductor manufacturing. In the single-wafer ALD market, the company is the world leader in terms of revenue and technology먹튀검증. ALD is an essential technology used in advanced semiconductor processes.
“ASM’s presence in Korea dates back to 1989, and we have grown alongside Korean companies over the decades,” said Benjamin Loh, CEO of ASM. “Korea is one of our R&D centers and our manufacturing base, and we look forward to expanding our operations here in the future.”
“We are investing heavily in Korea because it is an important market for semiconductors. Two of the top 10 semiconductor companies in the world are Korean and are customers of ASM, and the more advanced their (Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix) D-RAM, 3D NAND and other processes become, the more they will need our equipment.”
As part of this new investment, ASM consulted with Samsung and SK Hynix to identify their mid- to long-term needs. “Our Korean customers have been asking us to expand our equipment production lines, and the plasma atomic layer deposition equipment we produce in Korea is a response to that, as the market will continue to grow in the medium to long term,” said Mr. Law.
ASM’s second manufacturing research and innovation center is 50 percent larger than the first. The R&D space will be doubled and the production base area will be tripled. “This year’s semiconductor market is dark, but the semiconductor market is always cyclical,” said Mr. Law. “In the long run, it is always trending upward. After a dip in 2023 and a recovery in 2024, we expect continued growth.”
Meanwhile, the Korean market has become even more important for equipment makers after the U.S. government recently banned equipment exports to China, targeting countries such as the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands, which dominate the global semiconductor equipment market. ASML, which makes extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment for advanced semiconductor processes, is also aggressively expanding in Korea. ASML is investing 240 billion won to build a new office building and component remanufacturing facility in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
Earlier, semiconductor equipment giant American Applied Materials (AMAT) also began work to build a memory equipment research and development (R&D) center in Gyeonggi Province. AMAT counts Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix among its customers. 17% of its revenue comes from South Korea. AMAT is looking at Suwon and Yongin as possible sites for the center, and is reportedly leaning toward Yongin, where the government has decided to create a cluster.