ASM International N.V. (Euronext Amsterdam: ASM) will take its symbolic first step in bringing its US$100 million multi-year investment in Hwaseong (Dongtan), South Korea, to fruition, with the groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow on its expanded innovation and manufacturing center. The development follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ASM and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea (‘MOTIE’) earlier this year, around ASM’s intention to carry out this investment by 2025.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks a strategic expansion for ASM and an important step in meeting the foreseen growing demand for semiconductors for the years to come. The investment will boost ASM’s research and product-development infrastructure, as well as adding more manufacturing capacity.
With the investment, ASM is also committed to creating new job opportunities, especially in engineering, R&D and manufacturing that will contribute to training and workforce development in Korea.
The milestone groundbreaking event will be attended by ASM’s CEO, Benjamin Loh and Pauline Van der Meer Mohr, Chair of the Supervisory Board. Guests include political dignitaries such as Kim Dong-Yeon, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Wan Ki Kim, Deputy Minister for Trade & Investment, Jeong Myeong-Guen, Mayor of Hwaesong city, and Joanne Doornewaard, Ambassador of the Netherlands, alongside customers and business partners, and other ASM colleagues.
Speaking ahead of the launch event, Benjamin Loh said this commitment to Hwaseong’s expansion was a bold step forward in ASM’s growth journey. “We couldn’t be happier that it’s taking place in Korea. Ever since we began our operations here back in 1989, we have been impressed by the potential, drive, and dedication of the Korean people. Right from the start, we sensed ASM would be able to do great things here.”
Loh added that the investment in Hwaseong is about so much more than just expanding space. “It confirms our commitment to Korea, as well as our ambition to continue growing our business here. Going forward, we aim to enable the continued development of advanced technologies, which will also increase Korea’s ability to facilitate domestic world-class semiconductor innovation.”
Hwaseong has been instrumental in ASM’s growth, with the facility delivering advanced R&D and technology for Korean and global customers. Korea is also the global center for ASM’s PEALD business. Technologies developed by ASM’s local R&D team have been at the heart of breakthrough innovations in the semiconductor industry, such as the ALD quad chamber module (QCM) architecture, the TENZA™ ALD for ultra-high aspect ratio (>100:1) gap-fill, and high-quality PEALD silicon and metal oxides and nitrides for spacers, liners, and other patterning applications.
ASM currently has more than 450 people working at its Hwaseong facility, and the number is expected to rise as the facility expands. The current building measures just over 20,000 m2, and the new extension will add another 31,000 m2, spread across eight floors. The expansion will more than double the Hwaseong facility’s R&D area while manufacturing area will almost triple.
YK Kim, Chairman of ASM Korea, said the expansion of ASM’s Hwaseong facility will create more space for the company’s fast-growing number of employees in Korea and reflects the country’s increasing importance to help the company meet growing global customer demand for advanced semiconductors in the years to come.
“It’s an investment in people and in the semiconductor ecosystem in Korea. We wish to cooperate closely with the Korean government, customers, and suppliers to foster and accelerate Korea’s semiconductor industry growth,” Kim said. He expressed his gratitude for support shown to ASM by the government and industry partners in Korea, saying it has been “invaluable in bringing us to this moment”.