Samsung's Lee discusses tech in the Netherlands
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong met with high-ranking officials at semiconductor equipment supplier ASML in the Netherlands to discuss cooperation on next-generation chip processing technology, the company announced Wednesday.
The meeting, held at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Eindhoven on Wednesday, brought together Lee, Kim Ki-nam, head of semiconductor business at Samsung, ASML’s CEO Peter Wennink, and CTO Martin van den Brink.
At the center of the discussion was the supply of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment — used in a manufacturing process that can print nodes of less than 10 nanometers in width — and ways to optimize the process.
ASML is the world’s only producer of EUV lithography machines.
The participants also explored potential cooperation in the manufacturing of next-generation chips designed to process artificial intelligence.
The meeting follows an encounter in 2016 when high-ranking ASML figures including Wennink visited Korea.
Approximately 30 percent of ASML’s sales comes from Korean companies, mostly to Samsung, which is the only chipmaker in Korea capable of fabricating chips with the EUV process. (SK hynix reportedly buys its memory chip equipment.)
Samsung owns a 1.5 percent stake in ASML in what it calls a "strategic partnership.”
The discussion came as Samsung vows to scale up its chipmaking business or foundry.
Currently, Samsung is the second largest foundry after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). According to market researcher TrendForce, Samsung was estimated to have a 17.4 percent share of the global foundry market in the third quarter of the year, while TSMC continues its dominance with a 53.9 percent market share.
Lee returned to Seoul on Wednesday after a European trip that lasted six days. It was his first overseas business trip in five months after a visit to a chip production line in Xian, China, in May.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]