South Korea's computer chip exports are expected to reach $52.5 billion in 2011, fueled by greater overseas demand for system semiconductors, the government said Monday.
The total represents a growth of 3.5 percent compared to the previous year, with outbound shipments of system semiconductors used to make products like smartphones and tablet PCs expanding 18.7 percent on-year to $19.1 billion, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
System chip exports stood at $16.1 billion last year and $12.3 billion in 2009.
The ministry said the overall increase is expected despite a 9.3 percent drop in conventional memory chip exports brought on by lower market prices.
The ministry, in addition, said at a meeting of small and medium-sized enterprises in the semiconductor industry that local computer chip companies should increase overall facility investments by 4.5 percent on-year to $12.4 billion in 2011, with investment numbers for system semiconductors expected to surge 96.8 percent on-year to $4.1 billion.
Related to system semiconductor development, the ministry in charge of industrial support said 15 billion won ($17.1 million) will be set aside this year to develop system chips used in cars and digital TVs, with numbers expected to grow to 113.8 billion won in 2015.
The ministry said, meanwhile, policymakers plan to finalize a 19.1 billion won future technology promotion plan for this year to help indigenous development of a fourth-generation baseband modem chip, application processor and radio frequency integrated circuit, or so-called RFIC chips.
The ministry said it will make every effort to fully invest a 60 billion won semiconductor fund created last year with contributions made from such companies as Samsung Electronics Co. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. It said a second fund worth 90 billion won will be made this year to further support high-tech projects to bolster the country's computer chip industry.