Lam Research, a global manufacturer of semiconductor equipment, is mulling plans to move its research and development center to South Korea, local media reported Sept. 19.
Citing an unnamed government official and industry sources, ET News reported that Lam Research decided on the move during a recent board of directors meeting.
Lam Research headquarters in Fremont, California
The plan entails 180 billion won ($150 million) of investments over the next three years and recruitment of 500 research personnel in Korea, the report said. For the relocation, the company has set up a task force headed by Seo In-hak, chairman of Lam Research Korea.
Industry watchers see the move as part of the company’s strategy to develop next-generation technology in the semiconductor industry in tandem with the country’s leading chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK hynix.
The semiconductor companies are working to develop next-generation semiconductor technologies, which require a new approach. “The semiconductor industry needs to develop entirely new technology and they want to cooperate to do so,” an official at a semiconductor company said.
Fremont, California-based Lam Research is a global supplier of wafer fabrication equipment, and its revenue reached $11 billion in 2018. The company spent $1.2 billion on R&D last year.
Lam Research is currently negotiating details with Korea’s Trade Ministry and Gyeonggi Province. Applied Materials, a semiconductor manufacturer based in the US, is also considering building an R&D center in Korea.
Lam Research told The Investor on Sept. 19 that it could not confirm the reports surrounding its R&D center.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)