South Korea is a global semiconductor powerhouse, with semiconductor output recording an increasing ratio of its total annual exports, surging from 12.6% in 2016 to 17.1% in 2017, and further to 21.2% in the first 11 months of 2018. The significant growth momentum has largely resulted from constant heavy investments by major players Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix in memory solutions development, technology upgrades and capacity expansions, as well as in foundry and even packaging process advancement.
In its latest major investment project, Samsung is building its second semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek at a total cost of US$27.7 billion to make 3D NAND flash and DRAM, with investment and production scales double those of its first plant in the Korean city. After completion by mid-2019 with official run slated for the second half of the year, the new plant will have monthly capacity of 130,000 wafers for DRAM alone.
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