The Korean government is planning to invest about 1 trillion won to commercialize artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductors and develop next-generation semiconductor manufacturing processes.

The plan calls for investing 500 billion won in public-private funds by 2026 to commercialize AI semiconductors.

Characterized by a high performance on low power, AI semiconductors are a type of system semiconductors and have a wide range of uses such as future cars, IoT home appliances, and biotechnology.

The project is promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which announced on Sept. 3 that it has already selected 91 companies, 29 universities and eight research institutes to carry out 45 tasks of the project.

This project is designed to develop world-class industrial AI semiconductors and atomic-level semiconductor manufacturing technology. A total of 1.01 trillion won will go into the project, with 521.6 billion won coming from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (2020-2026) and the remaining 488 billion won from the Ministry of Science and ICT (2020-2029).

The project has 27 tasks for system semiconductors (including AI semiconductors) and 18 tasks for semiconductor manufacturing processes. In particular, tasks related to system semiconductors focus on demand-based development of technologies in five promising future strategic areas -- future cars, biotechnology, IoT home appliances, robots, and public use (including energy). Among them, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will support industry-academic cooperation tasks to secure core technologies for the future of semiconductors.

An AI semiconductor is a type of system semiconductors with an optimal performance speed of artificial intelligence computation and efficiency in power consumption. The global market for AI semiconductors is expected to increase 37.5 percent annually to reach US$51.9 billion in 2025.