SEOUL, April 26 (Korea Bizwire) — U.S. semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research Corp. opened a technology center in South Korea on Tuesday, which the company hopes will serve as a key hub of its global research and development (R&D) network.
Lam Research completed its Korea technology center at an industrial site in Yongin, about 50 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in February this year after breaking ground in July 2020.
Lam Research, the world’s No. 3 chip equipment maker, said some 100 researchers will work at the center, whose construction has cost the U.S. tech company about $100 million.
Lam Research said the headquarters of its South Korean subsidiary Lam Research Korea, which was set up in 1989 and is located in Pangyo, south of Seoul, will be moved to the R&D center later.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lam Research CEO Tim Archer said the center is part of the company’s efforts to meet growing global demand for semiconductor equipment, adding it has doubled its output in South Korea over the past two years.
In a congratulatory speech, South Korea’s First Vice Industry Minister Park Jin-kyu expressed hope that Lam Research’s technology center here will contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s semiconductor industry.
He also vowed active government support for South Korea to become a stable and attractive investment destination for global semiconductor equipment makers, whose imports have been growing in recent years.
According to industry data, global sales of semiconductor equipment spiked 44 percent on-year to $102.6 billion in 2021. China posted the largest sales at $29.6 billion, followed by South Korea with $25 billion and Taiwan with $24.9 billion.
Yongin is a growing semiconductor cluster in South Korea, a global chip powerhouse and Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chip manufacturer, operates several plants not far away from Yongin. SK hynix Inc., South Korea’s second-largest chipmaker, is scheduled to build four semiconductor fabrication plants in Yongin by the end of 2024.