ASM to Build Production Lines for Front-end Semiconductor Equipment in South Korea

Nov 29, 2017

Netherland’s ASM, which is considered as a top ten semiconductor front-end equipment manufacturer globally, is going to build state-of-the-art production lines in Hwasung-si. After making an agreement with Gyeonggi-do in September of 2015, it had carried out plans on production and lay-out of production lines for two years and started making investments on full-scale. It is rare that a powerful foreign semiconductor equipment production is building complete production lines in South Korea and ASM is the first to do so out of European equipment manufacturers. Although some of American equipment manufacturers have their production plants in South Korea, they are simply working on assembly in South Korea and receive main parts and components from their headquarters.
“We are going to work on R&D and produce products from this new plant at the same time.” said President Kim Yong-gil of ASM Korea (ASMK) on the 28th. “We will be able to customize our products according to requests from customers in South Korea.”
“Number of ASMK’s employees will grow from 220 to 500 within three years.” said President Kim. “We are also going to contribute to South Korea’s national economy by exporting ASM equipment that is produced from South Korea to different countries in Asia.”

President Kim Yong-gil of ASMK
<President Kim Yong-gil of ASMK >

ASMK emphasize that most of new employees will be hired as R&D engineers. Half of ASMK’s current employees are engineers. Personnel Director Yoo Jung-in of ASMK said that number of positions with good quality is going to start increasing in the near future. This new plant will be built by September of 2018 and its total ground area is 15,300m2. ASM will be investing $50.8 million (55 billion KRW) and it already purchased additional lands next to where this new plant is going to be build. This indicates that ASM will look to expand its production lines if its business takes off smoothly.
ASM is Netherland’s major equipment manufacturer with competitive edge in semiconductor depositor. It made about $711 million (770 billion KRW) in 2016 sales and it is estimated to make about $924 million (1 trillion KRW) in sales this year according to stock firms in Netherland. Percentage of its sales that come from South Korea is at about 25%. ASM, which acquired and merged with Genitech in 2005, started investing in South Korea while establishing its corporate in Cheonan. When this new plant is built, it is planning to relocate after combining its current business place in Cheonan and its office in Pangyo.
Major equipment that will be produced from this new plant is PEALD (Plasma Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition) equipment. PEALD can cover a silicon wafer with very thin film with thickness of an atomic layer. ASM’s PEALD equipment is mostly used for patterning process of DRAM.
“Because we will be in charge of both production and R&D of equipment that will be produced from this new plant, partnership and cooperation with South Korean equipment parts manufacturers are the most important thing.” said President Kim Yong-gil. “We will be able to create a coexisting model with South Korea’s back-end equipment industries if exportation of products to foreign countries takes place smoothly.”
Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop | powerusr@etnews.com

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