Samsung Group is expected to speed up investment and development of next-generation chips and batteries as its chief returning from a business trip to Europe emphasized on the urgent need to keep ahead in technology.
“Technology must come first, second and third,” said Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and de facto commander of Samsung Group, Sunday upon arriving from a 12-day business trip to Europe.
He found visits to ASML and IMEC had been most substantial during his business trip as he was able to see where the chip technology would be heading.
The head office of ASML based in the Netherlands had been his first stop. It is the exclusive supplier of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography that is crucial in slicing ICs on the chips in single-digit nanometers. The second stop was IMEC, Europe’s largest R&D hub on latest chipmaking process and other latest technologies.
His stress on technology could imply expedition in migration in chip technology.
Lee confirmed uncertainties in the global market from his latest trip to Europe. The Korean tech giant has vowed to invest 450 trillion won ($348 billion) over the next five years to back its new growth engines of semiconductor, biotech and artificial intelligence.
Battery would be another focus.
Lee flew to Hungary to check on Samsung SDI’s electric vehicle battery factory and meet with head of German automaker BMW. Samsung SDI supplies prismatic battery cells to BMW. Other two major Korean EV battery makers do not.
Market observers anticipate Samsung to forge stronger partnership with BMW on electric car ecosystem.
Samsung SDI is currently building second EV battery plant in Hungary. Its EV battery manufacturing base reportedly has production capacity of producing 40 gigawatt-hours of EV battery, which can power 700,000 high-performance pure electric cars.
Samsung Electronics will have a global strategy meeting this week, with smartphone division meeting scheduled on Tuesday, TV and home appliance on Wednesday and semiconductor next Tuesday.
By Jung Yoo-jung, Park Yoon-gu and Cho Jeehyun
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