Market Insights and Outlooks at SEMI Korea Members Day: A Great Success

By Jiwon Cho, SEMI Korea

On September 22, SEMI held the 11thSEMI Korea Members Day, one of its annual events, at COEX, Seoul. Amid a super-cycle of semiconductor, interest about future strategy for the Korean semiconductor industry was a hot topic. Against this backdrop, SEMI hosted the event to provide an opportunity for its members to gain insights from SEMI’s market analysis, global semiconductor and display market forecast, government support plan to expand Smart Manufacturing, and semiconductor market outlook in China and Taiwan. The successful event was attended by approximately 300 SEMI member company professionals ─ CEOs, executives, and managers from semiconductor manufacturers (including Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and DONGBU HiTek) and domestic and overseas semiconductor equipment and materials companies (including DONGJIN SEMICHEM, SEMES, SK Siltron, Wonik IPS, and KCTech).

Vice president Kim Soo-kyum of IDC Korea said the global semiconductor market in 2017 grew 14 percent year-over-year (YoY), and he is expecting a 2 percent decrease in 2018. He predicted that the annual growth rate from 2017 to 2021 would be 2 percent. Memory market growth will hit a historical high (for past 25 years). But market correction will follow for next two to three years. Also, he made a prediction that data center, automotive, industrial, and smart-home applications will lead the semiconductor market.

Analyst Soh Hyun-chul of Shinhan Investment Corp. expects that LCD TV panel prices will continue to drop by the end of this year, but then bounce back again in April next year. He said that Apple’s new iPhone to be released by the end of this year with augmented reality function will come with an  OLED display, and all new smartphones for the next seven years will also come with OLED displays. Therefore, Samsung and LG will make an aggressive investment in small- and mid-sized OLED. Moreover, he anticipated that Samsung and LG will nurture their parts (camera, non-memory chips, and display) and materials (secondary battery) for autonomous cars as self-driving electric vehicle will record explosive growth thanks to commercialization of 5G network in 2019.

President Kim Jin-ho of JEDEX made a presentation about environmental/cleanliness management in the semiconductor and display industry, and the present and future of related international standards. He underlined that in addition to air quality in cleanroom, surface cleanliness and contamination are also increasingly crucial.

Surface cleanliness is critically important. Related international standards were established because a growing number of defects are caused by foreign substances on the surface of equipment used in the semiconductor, display and optical precision electronics industries. Moreover, he explained that concepts of quarantine and clean zone were introduced focusing on super-cleanliness in a small zone, instead of improving cleanliness in the entire cleanroom. Clean zone refers to an area with no or possibly lowest foreign substances which can result in defects of products. President Kim Jin-ho emphasized that there should be improvement in cleanliness test methods for major components of equipment and appropriate management of clean products (dust-free garment, gloves, masks, wipers, etc.) which are often neglected.

Director Yoon Jong-Wook from Ministry of SMEs and Startups presented government support to facilitate distribution of Smart Manufacturing. He explained that different ministries are engaged in this work: Ministry of SMEs and Startups is managing Smart Factory Distribution Projects; Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy focuses on R&D while developing demonstration factory and leading model factory in each sector; and Ministry of Science and ICT is responsible for development of eight major technologies for Smart Manufacturing. He added that the Korean government promotes Innovation in Manufacturing 3.0 Strategy to strengthen global competitiveness of domestic small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies, pursuing smart innovation in the manufacturing sector. Further, the director said the key goals are increasing the number smart manufacturing factories to 20,000 by 2020 and developing eight major Smart Manufacturing technologies, including smart sensor, 3D printing, Internet of Things, cloud, big-data, hologram, CPS, and energy-saving technologies. Among others, the biggest project is to support distribution and expansion of ICT convergence smart factory, and total budget for this project is KRW 41.8 billion. The ministry plans to subsidize 50 percent of project cost or KRW 50 million for each domestic SMEs and middle-standing enterprise, and now it is publicly receiving applications from companies.

According to the Chinese and Taiwanese semiconductor market forecast by analyst Clark Tseng of SEMI, investment in China will be concentrated on 3D NAND and foundry fab. Fab equipment investment in China in 2015 was US$5 billion which is 5th largest amount in the world, following Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and the U.S. However, he predicted that China’s investment in 2018 will grow to US$12 billion, becoming world’s second largest investor in fab equipment following Korea. (Note: Data CORRECTED on Oct 3, 2017 3:45pm Pacific)

HD Cho, president of SEMI Korea said “SEMI Korea Members Day is an opportunity for members to obtain important information, such as semiconductor and related industry market trends and technology outlooks, and to network with domestic and overseas semiconductor equipment and material companies.” He also expressed “the event was very successful thanks to more than 300 participants from member companies.”

More information is available: SEMI Korea, SEMICON Korea (January 31-February 2), and SEMI Event Calendar). Upcoming events in Korea in October include:

  • SEMI Software Standards Education Program (October 19)
  • I&C Korea Technical Committee Chapter Meeting (October 20)
  • Semiconductor Process Technology Tutorial (October 23-26)

Global Update
October 3, 2017