The White House hosted a semiconductor industry conference on April 12 and, contrary to earlier forecasts, it did not urge Samsung Electronics to invest in the United States. Still, U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his will to actively address the ongoing chip shortage and his stance is likely to affect the semiconductor industry of South Korea including Samsung Electronics.
At the online CEO summit, the president of the United States defined chip, wafer, battery and broadband as infrastructure. Samsung Electronics president Choi Si-young, who is in charge of the company’s foundry business, attended the conference and the company is yet to make conference details public.
“It seems that the United States is putting pressure on Samsung Electronics tacitly,” said an industry insider, adding, “The company may have to make its U.S. investment decision soon.” Samsung Electronics is planning to build another semiconductor manufacturing plant in the United States at an investment of US$17 billion and it is yet to decide where.
“The summit started due to the automotive chip shortage currently affecting GM and Ford and both automotive and non-automotive chip manufacturers attended the conference,” the insider commented, continuing, “The latter, including Samsung Electronics, Intel, TSMC and GlobalFoundries, may have been told to work on countermeasures.”
Intel announced last month that it would build two semiconductor manufacturing plants in Arizona by investing US$20 billion and set up Intel Foundry Services as its foundry arm. TSMC is also planning to build a foundry in Arizona at an investment of US$12 billion.