South Korea launches its first IP trading platform in Q2 next year

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea and the Ministry of Small and Medium Venture Capital Corporations recently announced that they will officially launch the semiconductor IP banking platform in the second quarter of next year, and the platform operator selection process will begin next month.

According to a report by BusinessKorea, at present, South Korea's local IP development foundation is weak, Fabless relies on overseas IP to a high degree, and the price of overseas IP is often very expensive. The platform aims to develop semiconductor IP and help Fabless more easily obtain advanced IP in the semiconductor industry.

When this news was released, the latest report from ETNews last week pointed out that the price of overseas semiconductor IP continued to rise. In the field of micro-processing below 10nm, cases, where the price of a single IP exceeds 8 billion won, have occurred from time to time, and Fabless, which lacks financial support, will have to give up a cutting-edge process design.

The semiconductor industry revealed that the price of SerDes IP, a high-speed connection technology for processes below 10nm, is US$5 million to US$7 million, and the price of USB IP is US$1 million to US$1.3 million. The price of the main interface IP for building a computing environment, such as "PCIe" (Motherboard interface) and "SATA" (storage device connection standard) are also in a similar range.

The most expensive IP is owned by global IP companies such as ARM and Synopsys. In order to provide stable services, foundries must provide optimized processes for existing overseas IP. South Korea's native Fabless had to bear and pay for the expensive license fees. Without sufficient funds, chip development cannot begin.

A Fabless person said, "In order to design artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductors or application processors (Aps) for automobiles below 10nm, the total price of IP that needs to be purchased will exceed tens of billions of won."

Hwee-won Kim, Director of the Korea System Integrated Circuit Innovation Center, emphasized, “As semiconductor miniaturization continues to advance, the importance of IP will inevitably increase. Although there are many difficulties, in the long run, it is necessary to create an investment that is conducive to IP R&D. And the environment for the development of domestic high-quality IP. We also need a short-term response strategy."

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