The Korea Herald


Korea to invest additional W400b in AI chips

By Kim So-hyun

Published : Jan. 19, 2022 - 13:40

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The South Korean government said on Wednesday it will invest 402.7 billion won ($337.4 million) in the development of processing-in-memory (PIM) chips, in addition to the 1 trillion won it pledged earlier to spend on artificial intelligence semiconductors over nine years to 2029.

PIM semiconductors are known as next-generation AI chips with higher processing efficiency.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said it discussed ways to advance the AI industry with AI experts from Samsung Electronics, LG, SK Telecom, KT, Naver, Kakao and startups in a semiannual meeting, and decided to increase investment in PIM chips; and develop software that provides an environment for development of AI chips.

The ministry said it will also carry out projects to test the performance of new AI semiconductors; use them at the data center of the AI complex in Gwangju for commercialization; and set up programs to foster AI semiconductor experts at three selected universities.

To support the commercialization of hyperscale AI that Naver, Kakao and LG are developing, the ministry plans to issue vouchers for small- and medium-sized firms and universities to use the hyperscale AI of large companies.

Hyperscale AI refers to a highly sophisticated form of AI that uses and analyzes massive datasets to make autonomous decisions.

The ministry said it will also expand provision of graphics processing unit (GPU) computing resources to SMEs, research institutes and universities.

As the AI service market grows rapidly, the ministry plans to focus on supporting the development of core technologies.

The ministry expects the global AI market to grow from about 100 trillion won this year to between 208 and 374 trillion won in 2025.

The domestic AI market is projected to grow from 1.5 trillion won in 2019 to 10.5 trillion won in 2025.

“The government will continue to do its best in policy support to help Korean companies become global leaders of AI,” Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook said.