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Samsung Vice Chairman Visits Europe, Bolsters Chip Development

Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Jae-yong has made his way for Europe for a twelve-day trip which will likely see the company look to bolster their efforts for ‘chip supremacy’.

Specifics of the trips purpose are currently scarce, as Lee declined questions from journalists who greeted him at the airport. It is expected that Dutch chip equipment giant, ASML, is his first stop.

ASML, who Samsung has a minority stake in, is the only producer of extreme ultraviolet lithography systems. Advanced chips make use of this technology, which is extremely costly and difficult to produce. The technology has been harder to acquire b major companies due to the chip shortages that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

Credit: ASML

According to Hanyang University electronics engineering professor Park Jea-gun “Lee’s visit could play a role for Samsung to purchase more ASML machines amid a tight supply.”

Samsung, who haven’t made a major detail since their 2017, $8 billion USD deal with Harman International, are expected to at potential deals during the trip. UK microchip design ARM is a potential purchase for the company, at an estimated price of $40 billion USD. Samsung will join a multinational consortium comprised of companies such as SK hyinx, Intel and Qualcomm to win the deal. Adding fuel to the rumour fire is the recent meeting between Lee and Intel CEO Patrick Geisinger in Seoul.

Park has also added that “Those rumoured deals, if realized, would offer a boon for Samsung’s chip business. Actually, Samsung’s any new attempt is a welcoming news for the market.”

The trip, according to park, is unlikely to result in a major detail straight away, as it’s a time-consuming process.

Samsung have stressed a focus on chip development, with plans to invest $357 billion USD in chip development, AI, health care and 6G. Samsung hope to find themselves ahead of their rivals with more advanced logic chips by 2030.

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