In this day and age, guns don’t decide which country holds power. Machines do. And at the heart of every machine is one part that has allowed mankind to hold the power that it currently does-semiconductor chips. Thus, companies around the world are competing to dominate this market, and it looks like South Korea is ready to step up to the likes of US and China.
The country has announced that it will spend $450 billion over the next decade to turn it into the semiconductor superpower of the world. At the heart of this initiative will be companies like Samsung and Hynix, with the former boosting its spending by 30% to $151 billion through 2030, and the latter committing $97 billion to expansion at existing facilities in addition to its $106 billion plan for four new plants in Yongin.
South Korea aims to build a K semiconductor belt stretching through dozens of kilometers.
On the business end, it aims to fuel expansion by providing tax breaks, lower interest rates, eased regulations and reinforced infrastructure. All of this is being done with the idea that it will incentivize chipmakers to catch up to the global leaders. It also wants to help train 36,000 chip experts between 2022 and 2031, contribute 1.5 trillion won toward chip research and development and will start discussing legislation tailored to assist the semiconductor industry.
Why is all of this relevant? Well, it’s because semiconductors are the heart of every machine we use these days. And over the next 10 years, humanity’s reliance on this resource is destined to increase even more, with new advancements coming every single day.
Moreover, this news comes at a time where a semiconductor shortage has brought the world to its knees, with prices going up in almost every sector. The shortage has shown its effects in GPUs and gaming consoles, with new variants selling for as high as two times the MRP due to lack of supply. If that’s not bad enough, speculations are that this shortage is likely to last for some more time, and soon, it will reflect in other, much more ubiquitous products like smartphones.
Thus, the country that holds the key to the world’s semiconductor supply will also wield unimaginable power, and South Korea wants to make sure that it’s ready for the fight.