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October 12, 1999

Korean Non-Memory Chip Project Launched

By CBR Staff Writer

Korea’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has launched a $32m semiconductor development program aimed at diversifying the industry away from its dependence on memory chips. A ministry official described the project, which will be funded equally by the government and private sector, as the country’s first for non-memory chips such as multimedia processors. The US dominates the non-memory chip sector, while Japan and South Korea are the major memory chipmakers. From now until next July, the money will be injected into private and state research organizations, with 1,500 engineers working to develop technology related to non-memory chips, the official said. We hope the project will lead to commercial production in 2004. South Korea’s non-memory chip production last year was worth $2bn, or less than 2% of the international market, but it held a nearly 40% share of the global DRAM chip market.

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