The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT, Minister: Lee Jong-Ho) released the ‘Support Plan for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Semiconductor Industry Promotion’ on June 27, subsequent to the discussion among academia, research institutes and related industries after Minister Lee’s roundtable with an AI chip maker on May.
Key agenda of the Support Plan are as follows:
1) Securing super gap in AI chip technology
- Korea is going to invest 1.02 trillion won (US 786 million dollars) for the next five years including preliminary feasibility tests for AI chip R&D, and expand joint research with the advanced nations including the United States.
- As for development of the next-generation intelligent semiconductors, MSIT will make investment of 488 billion won (US 36 million dollars) while the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy investing 521.6 billion won (US 40 million dollars) from 2020 to 2029. For PIM chips development, from 2022 to 2028, MSIT and MOTIE will invest 289.7 billion won (US 22 million dollars) and 113 billion won (US 9 million dollars), respectively.
2) Creating initial market demands for indigenously developed AI semiconductors
- The government is planning to initiate a new project to build data centres with domestic AI chips by 2023 and provide computing power for free to AI developers.
- A new ‘AI+ Chip Project,’ which uses domestic AI chips to develop AI products and services, and verify their performance, will be initiated as well.
- More discussions and negotiations will continue to ensure that public projects, like smart cities and smart CCTV, administered by the local authorities are actively using made-in-Korea semiconductors.
3) Fostering a cooperative ecosystem among related industries, research institutes and academia engaging conglomerates.
- For instance, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix shall be providing technical consultation to research institutes developing PIM semiconductors. In addition, the government will engage Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix from the government’s ICT R&D planning stage, so that the private enterprises can verify the planning result.
4) Aiming to nurture 7,000 AI chip experts
- ‘AI chip-converged major’ will be newly created across three domestic universities. Further efforts will be made to advance the chip test production infrastructure within the colleges and research centres and to create new curriculum of chip design/production for undergraduate students.
- Three ‘AI Chip-specialized graduate schools’ to produce skilled experts with master’s and Ph.D will be established in 2023. In addition, exchange student programs for students with high GPA will be soon operated.
Minister Lee Jong-Ho said, “the economic and industrial value of AI semiconductor will continue to improve, and Korea has the upper hand in the memory chip and foundry.” He also added “MSIT will give full support in order to dominate the AI semiconductor global market and increase competitiveness of system semiconductor field in general.”
For further information, please contact Spokesperson for foreign media Kim Hee-Hyun (E-mail: email@example.com , 82-44-202-4027) of the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Please refer to the attached PDF