Intensive Support Measures Needed to Become an Advanced SoC Nation
|Moon S. Song |
Chairman of the IT-SoC Association
If we nurture the System on Chip (SoC) industry intensively on the basis of the nation's memory semiconductor industry, the highest level in the world, I think the domestic SoC industry also will be able to reach to the global level in the near future, Moon S. Song, CEO of Curitel who was reelected as chairman of the IT-SoC Association, said in an interview with Korea IT Times. He added that the government is also offering intensive support measures about the SoC industry with a view to leap into one of three IT SoC advanced countries.
The chairman explained that already SoC is a huge market accounts for 66 percent of the world semiconductor market a proportion that is forecast to increase more.
"However, because in the case of our country, SoC field is very fragile due to memory-oriented industry structure, our market share remains merely 2 percent in the world SoC market. In addition, chairman Song pointed out, "The domestic SoC market is forecast to grow rapidly over 20 percent annually thanks to the system industry's activation including cellular phone, though foreign-made products are still occupying over 80 percent."
Chairman Song committed himself to playing a more active role, saying that the IT-SoC Association wants to materialize benefits of member companies through technology exchange between member companies, policy development, technology trend surveys, joint development of new services, exhibitions and seminars for the purpose of the SoC industry activation, and marketing in the interests of overseas advancement as well as exchange cooperation with overseas institutions.
Regarding the association support measures to nurture the SoC industry, Song said that the IT-SoC Association is unfolding a marketing support project and technology support business, pointing out that owing to a fragility of the domestic SoC industry, domestic system business circles are dependent on foreign parts companies.
First, the goal of its marketing support business is to help member companies propel marketing briskly by constructing cooperation networks both at home and abroad. For this purpose, the association is propelling the 'IT-SoC 2005 Exhibition', "IT SoC Magazine publication, parts and systems cooperation activation, and exchange cooperation strengthening with overseas SoC-related institutions as well as system firms."
Also, the objective of the technology support business is to offer necessary resources in carrying out R&D activities for member companies while carrying out R&D projects in the interests of IT SoC industry activation.
The largest bottlenecks for its member companies are shortage of special manpower, difficulty of capital preparation, and difficulty of semiconductor manufacturing line security, Song noted. He emphasized, "The activation of the SoC industry has to emerge as a core task to pave the way for the $20,000 era in per capita gross national product (GNP)." In this regard, the chairman said that nurturing core design manpower and promoting SoC boom will be necessary.
He prospected that the SoC industry would form a new industry group different from the existing semiconductor industry, saying that its value added amount of production will expand from 10 trillion won in 2003 to 25 trillion won in 2007, and again to 50 trillion won in 2012 and SoC's exports also will grow from $20 billion in 2003 to $35 billion in 2007 and $50 billion in the upcoming 2012.
The chairman said that compared with prominent companies in the world, the nation's IT SoC firms are very small, but its IT SoC corporations are showing a rapid growth relatively. In particular, he said that IT-SoC member companies average turnover in 2003 has grown over two-fold and Corelogic & TomatoLSI show the national SoC industry's high development possibilities by recording a growth rate over 500 percent.
He concluded that the association is making its best efforts to beef up cooperative relation with diverse SoC-related companies through SoC Forum and conferences.
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