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(EDITORIAL from Korea Times on Feb. 19)

National 07:12 February 19, 2021

Development of new chip

Samsung should maintain superiority in semiconductor industry

Samsung Electronics has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) processor-embedded high-bandwidth memory (HBM) semiconductor for the first time in the world. The new concept semiconductor confers computing functions, like a central process unit (CPU), to memory, so far just a device that reads and records data. It is a new approach never tried before and a fresh achievement that will bring about significant changes in the entire semiconductor industry.

The company integrated an AI engine into its HBM chip using processing-in-memory (PIM) technology to develop the world's first HBM-PIM semiconductor. PIM combines logic-based complex processing units within computer memory. The tech giant expects it will be heavily used for high-performance computing (HPC) and AI applications for ultrafast data analysis. The company said its HBM-PIM chip more than doubles an AI system's performance and reduces energy use by 70 percent compared to an existing HBM.

Samsung's development of the advanced concept semiconductor is indeed welcome. The world's largest memory chip maker has shown it is competitive in the next-generation semiconductor sector, too, by making the most of its technologies. The tech giant has long maintained the world's top position in memory chips, such as DRAMs and flash memory, and it is putting a lot of work into non-memory chips, too. In addition, the company's foundry unit, which makes semiconductors on a consignment basis, has successfully turned a crisis into an opportunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Korea to maintain its status as a global powerhouse in the semiconductor industry, Samsung should continue to lead the world market armed with technological power that dominates foreign competitors in all semiconductor industry areas. The global IT giant should continue to incorporate various convergence technologies and devise new products based on innovative ideas. Suppose Samsung enhances cooperation with domestic venture enterprises in the process and helps grow small but strong Korean players in the equipment and materials sectors. In that case, it will be like icing on the cake. We hope Samsung Electronics will maintain the "hyper-gap" with foreign rivals in the semiconductor industry by continuing to develop products the world has never seen.

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