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Parts and materials technology development
Korea launches Global Star Fabless Project 2023-08-29

The Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held the Global Star Fabless Project launching ceremony on August 28 at the Gyeonggi Business Growth Center.

One of the two major pillars of the chip industry along with foundries, the semiconductor design sector’s need for highly skilled technology and know-how serves to heighten its market barrier, with 90 percent of the global market shared by the world’s top 30 companies as of 2022.

Accordingly, the Korean government has been providing electronic design automation (EDA) tools, office space, and multi-project wafer (MPW) service to companies in the early stages, which is essential for fabless companies’ free foundry access. The Government launched the KRW 300 billion semiconductor ecosystem fund in June 2023 for the growth and independence of fabless companies, while also pushing the establishment of a system semiconductor cluster for stronger synergy with foundry.

The Global Star Fabless Project is a part of a long-term move to nurture Korean fabless into the global top tier, and with this aim, MOTIE selected 20 “Star Fabless” companies via public advertisement and expert evaluation. The Government plans to support these firms’ technology development, prototyping, financing, domestic and overseas marketing and manpower training.

In addition to the launching ceremony, companies participating in consortiums for demand responsive system semiconductor technology development also attended a ceremony for the signing of a cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) between suppliers and buyers. Suppliers are to develop technologies required by buyers per consortium, and buyer participation in technology development is expected to minimize trial and error, while increasing commercialization prospects.