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S. Korean President to visit Dutch firm ASML to upgrade semiconductor supply chain cooperation

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : December 1, 2023, 15:44 Updated : January 3, 2024, 11:21
Yonhap News Photo
[Yonhap News Photo]
SEOUL -- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is set to visit the headquarters of ASML, a Dutch manufacturer of chip-making equipment, to strengthen semiconductor supply chain collaboration. The Dutch company is the sole maker of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machinery, which is essential for producing physical chips from silicon wafers.

The EUV technique allows the production of smaller and more powerful semiconductor chips. The technique enables chipmakers to have the ability to manufacture chips with higher transistor density, allowing chipmakers to pack more transistors into a small given area. ASML has provided the EUV systems to Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, a major memory chip producer in South Korea.

ASML is also building a lithography cluster in Hwaseong, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Seoul, to improve the supply chain of materials related to high-tech semiconductor equipment in South Korea. The construction of the cluster that began in November 2022 is expected to be completed in 2025, with an investment of 240 billion won ($183.7 million). 

The South Korean president is scheduled to visit the headquarters of ASML in Veldhoven on December 12 during his state visit to the Netherlands, the presidential office said. Along with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Yoon will meet with ASML CEO Peter Wennink and tour the company's main facilities.

"The Netherlands is the world's top semiconductor equipment producer and a key partner for South Korea in the global semiconductor supply chain," an official from the presidential office said. "Yoon's state visit will further upgrade cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, and contribute to building a supply chain."

The South Korean leader will embark on his four-day journey on December 11. This marks the first state visit by a South Korean president to the Netherlands since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1961. Among European nations, the Netherlands is South Korea's second-largest trading partner after Germany. 

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