As parts and material localization rate remains at approximately 60%, the strengthening of equipment and material manufacturer competitiveness appeared to be urgent on the occasion of i-SEDEX 2007.
In particular, the localization rate of domestic semiconductor equipment also remains at 20%.
In a preview interview carried out by the Korea IT Times on the occasion of the i-SEDEX 2007, Vice Chairman Joo Doug-young, of Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KISA, www.ksia.or.kr) started his interview with comments regarding mutually beneficial strategy between semiconductor device manufacturers and equipment companies by saying: "Semiconductor device manufacturers and equipment companies are in a inseparable relationship each other." It is necessary to maintain a pre-circulation cooperation relationship in which equipment company competitiveness strengthening is linked to device manufacturer's competitiveness strengthening and this is again of help to equipment companies, Joo said.
For the sake of maintaining such a cooperative relationship, many-sided support and cooperation from the government, corporations and associations are necessary, he added.
With regard to semiconductor industry trend at home and abroad, the Vice Chairman said: "Technology development competition is being accelerated for the sake of preoccupying the world market in semiconductor industry business circles in recent years." It is said that cost reductions to boost price competitiveness or technology development for productivity improvement are being rapidly advanced in design and processing technology field, according to Joo.
Accordingly, aggressive investment in the 300mm (12inch) facility is being enlarged to reduce investment risk and cost and further to boost market share. What's more, alliances between related companies are being diffused in order to reduce risk followed by enormous investment.
As such representative examples, Joo named a joint-venture investment between US-based companies Intel and Micron, a joint-venture investment between Japan's Toshiba and US's SanDisk, and a joint-venture corporation establishment between Japan's ElPIDA and Taiwan's PowerChip.
Regarding a special issue of semiconductor industry in recent years, Joo names China semiconductor industry's rapid emergence. As of 2006, Taiwan semiconductor industry scale posted US$42.1 billion, up 14.6% in comparison with the previous year, among which IC manufacturing has posted the largest width's increase with US$23.1 billion, up 30.5%. China's semiconductor industry, which started in the year 2001, has been growing rapidly with its annual increase rate of 56% with priority given to foundries and fabless. As semiconductor production venues are moving from the United States and EU to Taiwan and China, China is forecast to be settled as a major semiconductor-producing country in the years to come.
China is no more than at the most 0.5% in terms of market share of the entire semiconductor market whereas the country accounts for production capacity of 6%. This means that foreign investment is rapidly increasing into the Chinese market.