South Korea’s semiconductor shipments up 80% in November
South Korea’s chip manufacturing segment is bouncing back from its year-long slump, says the country's national statistical office.
In data just released for the year to November, it confirmed that chip production jumped 42% while shipments grew 80%. The latter represented the biggest annual gain since late 2002.
There will be widespread relief at the numbers. South Korea’s trade-reliant economy was hit hard by the post-COVID chip glut, the consequent softening of demand and the tension between US and China. Indeed, the November surge in semiconductor production and shipments contributed to a better-than-expected 5.3% increase in the country's industrial output.
Now, powerhouse Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are hopeful that higher chip prices and rising demand driven by artificial intelligence will sustain the boom. Samsung is believed to be talks with AI specialist Nvidia to supply graphics processing units (GPUs), high-bandwidth memory (HBM), and advanced packaging services.
But at the same time, Samsung is also advancing its own AI chip design. It has partnered with Naver to develop a product that is purported to demonstrate an impressive 8-fold increase in power efficiency compared to Nvidia's.