South Korean semiconductor exports increase in June

News Analysis




South Korean semiconductor exports increase in June

According to Korea International Trade Association, South Korean exports for all IT-related items grew for three consecutive months.

South Korea, home to giants Samsung and SK Hynix, is a major producer of integrated circuits (chips). South Korea's trade ministry noted that the value of semiconductor shipments amounted to US$13.4Bn in June, rising 51% y-o-y. US demand underpinned the rise in exports, increasing 15% in June, while exports to China increased 1.8% in a fourth month of consecutive growth. 

Increasing demand for chips creates more demand for semiconducting materials such as silicon, tantalum, boron, phosphorous, and minor metals such as hafnium or antimony.

Antimony, phosphorous, and boron are all used to create n- and p-type semiconductors that, when combined, form a diode, the basis of all modern electronics that utilise logic. Tantalum and hafnium are used in microchips for different purposes. Tantalum is required as a thin film layer to protect the fragile nano-meter components by aiding thermal stability and its anticorrosive properties, while hafnium is used as a gate dielectric to increase capacitance, avoid dielectric breakdown, and prevent quantum tunnelling.