South Korean Prez vows to be among top 3 nations in AI technology

by IANS |

Seoul, April 9 (IANS) South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed on Tuesday to make his country one of the three leading nations in the world in terms of new technology, saying AI chips are rapidly dominating the semiconductor market.

Yoon made the pledge during a meeting convened to discuss recent issues in the chip industry, including the partial suspension of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC) operations in the wake of an earthquake in Taiwan and progress toward the construction of a chip mega cluster in Gyeonggi Province, reports Yonhap news agency.

"Our country already has global competitiveness not only in hardware, such as chips and digital devices but also in the digital sector, including in AI models and their use," he said during the meeting, which brought together executives from Samsung, SK hynix, Naver and Sapeon Korea, as well as the ministers of finance, industry, science, environment and land.

"There aren't many countries with both the capability to manufacture hardware and develop and use software. I will push an AI chip initiative so that our country can enter the G3 in AI technology and go beyond memory chips to conquer the future AI chip market," he said, referring to the Group of 3.

To aid the effort, the government will invest 9.4 trillion won ($6.9 billion) in AI and AI chips by 2027 and create a 1.4 trillion-won fund to help the growth of AI chip companies, he said.

Yoon noted the chip sector has shown signs of recovery, posting $11.7 billion in exports last month, the most in 21 months.

He assured the government has been closely monitoring the impact of last week's deadly earthquake in Taiwan on global chip supply chains, with the impact on South Korean businesses appearing minimal so far.

The president also raised the need to keep abreast of efforts by the US, Japan and European countries to strengthen their chip supply chains, with the US set to announce plans to support Samsung Electronics' investments in the country's chip sector.

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