US cancels some semiconductor export licenses for China’s Huawei… Strengthen sanctions

US sanctions against Huawei, China’s largest telecommunications equipment company, are intensifying.

Reuters reported on the 7th (local time) that the U.S. Department of Commerce has revoked the export licenses of some companies exporting semiconductors to Huawei.

This measure comes after Huawei announced last month that its first AI laptop, ‘MateBook X Pro’, will be equipped with Intel’s new Core Ultra 9 processor.

U.S. Republican lawmakers have strongly criticized this, saying it is because the Department of Commerce granted permission to export sensitive semiconductors to Intel. Some companies are said to have received notice that their export licenses were immediately revoked on this day.

CGPM holds ‘Sejong Campus new factory groundbreaking ceremony’… “Spurring the supply of core materials for the next-generation semiconductor process”

CGPM announced on the 10th that it held the ‘Sejong Campus New Factory Groundbreaking Ceremony’ in Jeonui-myeon, Sejong Special Self-Governing City on the 9th. CGMP plans to lead the field of advanced materials with the goal of establishing cutting-edge material synthesis technology and semi-automatic production systems. 

CGPM’s new factory will be built on a 5,470 pyeong site with a total building area of ​​3,436 pyeong. Construction is scheduled to begin this month and be completed in February next year. 

This investment to build a new factory was made with the active support of strategic partner Hanul Material Science. Hanul Material Science plans to invest 42 billion won in CGPM and build its own PAG production facility within the new plant. The creation of synergy between the two companies is expected to strengthen competitiveness in the semiconductor materials market. 

Attracted 3 billion won in investment from Itda Semiconductor and We Ventures

Itda Semiconductor announced on the 10th that it had attracted 3 billion won in investment through the pre-A round.

We Ventures and L&S Venture Capital jointly participated in this investment. Itda Semiconductor has developed Power and Clock Canvas, a product that connects hardware design technology and software to design a system-on-chip (SoC, a single chip that implements multiple systems) power and clock systems with no-code. there is.

This product supports the design of power and clock systems, which were previously designed through tens of thousands of lines of coding, through a simple web interface. Through this, semiconductor design engineers can significantly reduce design time and easily reduce chip power consumption.

CoAsia enters the local AI semiconductor market with Vietnam’s ‘CMC Group’

CoAsia, a system semiconductor design company, announced on the 10th that Vietnam’s CMC Group signed a business agreement (MOU) on ‘business model construction and AI SoC development cooperation’ at the Sofitel Ambassador Seoul Hotel, where the ‘CMC Korea’ launch ceremony was held.

CMC Group is Vietnam’s No. 1 AI solution specialist and No. 2 information and communications (IT) company. We provide innovative ICT solutions to companies and governments by utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data services, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

This business agreement (MOU) was promoted by both companies to expand their semiconductor business in the Korean and Vietnamese markets and strengthen the competitiveness of IoT and their own AI technology, and Koasia and CMC Group are long-term partners and preferred negotiating partners in the development of AI SoC semiconductors. decided to cooperate with each other.

TSMC’s sales last month were 10 trillion won… 60% increase from a year ago

It was found that the sales of Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s largest foundry, surged in April this year thanks to demand for artificial intelligence (AI).

According to AFP and Bloomberg News on the 10th, TSMC announced that its consolidated sales last month increased 59.6% from the same month last year, reaching approximately NT$236.02 billion (about KRW 9.9553 trillion).

This is a larger increase than 34.3% last March. TSMC’s strong performance is closely related to the AI ​​boom that occurred after the success of OpenAI’s generative AI chat GPT.

SK Hynix foundry subsidiary sells 49% stake in Chinese corporation

SK Hynix’s foundry subsidiary, SK Hynix System IC, is selling about half of its shares in its Wuxi corporation in China. 

According to the Financial Supervisory Service’s Electronic Disclosure System on the 9th, SK Hynix System IC decided to sell a 21.33% stake in Wuxi Corporation (SK Hynix System IC Wuxi) to Chinese state-owned enterprise Wuxi Industrial Development Group (WIDG) for 205.4 billion won. Subsequently, WIDG plans to secure an additional 28.6% stake by participating in the paid-in capital increase conducted by SK Hynix System IC Wuxi. 

Once this capital increase and share transfer is completed, SK Hynix System IC and WIDG will hold 50.1% and 49.9% of SK Hynix System IC Wuxi’s shares, respectively.

Hyundai Mobis builds a new electric vehicle module factory in Ulsan

Hyundai Mobis is building a module factory exclusively for electric vehicles in Ulsan.

Ulsan City and Hyundai Mobis signed an investment memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the construction of a new electric vehicle module factory on the 9th. The factory will be built on a 70,397㎡ site within the Mipo National Industrial Complex in Ulsan. About 90 billion won will be invested. Construction is scheduled to begin this month and is scheduled for completion in December next year.

Hyundai Mobis plans to supply chassis modules and driver’s seat modules to the Genesis electric vehicle model mass-produced by Hyundai Motor Company through this factory.

Local electric vehicle company ‘DPICO’ recovery plan approved

DPICO, a domestic electric vehicle company that could not withstand worsening business conditions and applied for corporate rehabilitation, received a decision from the court to approve the rehabilitation plan after about eight months. As a result, DPICO was able to proceed with the normalization process through debt restructuring and attracting new funds.

According to the legal community on the 10th, the 15th Rehabilitation Division of the Seoul Rehabilitation Court held a meeting of interested persons the day before and decided to approve DPICO’s rehabilitation plan. In order for a rehabilitation plan to be passed at a meeting of interested parties under the Debtor Rehabilitation Act, the consent of more than three-quarters of rehabilitation secured creditors and two-thirds of rehabilitation creditors is required.

At this meeting of stakeholders, 99.89% of rehabilitation secured creditors and 75.03% of rehabilitation creditors agreed to DPICO’s rehabilitation plan.

British BP pursues acquisition of Tesla supercharger infrastructure

British Petroleum (BP) said in a statement on the 9th, “Following Tesla’s recent announcement, we are actively seeking to acquire real estate to expand our network.” The plan is to secure available land by negotiating with real estate owners who can sign Tesla Supercharger development contracts, led by BP Pulse, BP’s electric vehicle charging division. 

Previously, Tesla fired Rebecca Tinucci, head of supercharger infrastructure, and most of its approximately 500 employees in response to declining sales. Additionally, Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally declared that he would slow down the pace of charging station expansion. As concerns spread about delays in the supply of electric vehicles nationwide, including the withdrawal of some supercharger construction work and discussions in the United States, BP took this as an opportunity.

In the first quarter of the global electric vehicle battery market excluding China, CATL ranked 1st and LG Energy Solution ranked 2nd.

According to SNE Research, an energy market research company, on the 9th, the total battery usage in electric vehicles (pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, hybrid vehicles) sold in countries around the world excluding China in the first quarter of this year (January to March) was 77.7GWh ( gigawatt hour), an increase of 15.7% compared to the same period last year.

In the ranking of battery usage for electric vehicles by company, the three domestic companies (LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK On) all maintained the top ranks. However, the market share decreased by 3.1 percentage points compared to the same period last year, reaching 45.9%.

In the first quarter of last year, LG Energy Solution ranked first (28.1% share) and CATL ranked second (26.4%), but this year the rankings were reversed.

U.S. BorgWarner completes electric vehicle core parts research and development center in Daegu Industrial Complex

The ‘Future Vehicle Electrification Drive System Research and Development (R&D) Center’ newly established by BorgWarner of the United States was completed on the 9th. Borg Warner, founded in 1928, is a global company that has led innovation in the field of core automobile parts for over 100 years. It is a company with total sales of $14 billion as of 2023.

Since building transmission clutch production facilities in 1988, the company has invested a total of $140 million in Korea and is operating a total of seven production plants, including Borg Warner Changnyeong and Borg Water Chungju, with a total of about 1,400 employees.

BorgWarner has been building a research and development center since submitting a $43.6 million investment report for the establishment of this research and development center during President Yoon Seok-yeol’s visit to the United States in September 2022.

Chinese electric car Zike raises 600 billion won through US IPO

Bloomberg News reported on the 10th (local time), citing sources, that Ziker, an electric vehicle brand under Geely Motors, a Chinese private automobile company, sold 21 million shares of depositary receipts (ADS) at $21 per share the previous day. This is the highest level from the expected public offering price of $18 to $21 per share.

Ziker was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on this day, and is considered the largest Chinese company IPO in the past three years. Ziker is China’s Geely Motors’ luxury electric vehicle brand, spun off from Geely Motors in 2021, and is aiming to enter Europe and South America ahead of sales in the United States. Sales have already begun in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Aekyung Chemical develops high-performance hard carbon for sodium-ion batteries

Aekyung Chemical announced on the 8th that it had succeeded in developing high-performance hard carbon, which is used as the main material for cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries (SIB).

The company explained that the hard carbon developed this time has the world’s highest level of performance, with discharge capacity and efficiency exceeding 300 mAh/g and 90%, respectively. We have succeeded in actually producing high-performance products in mass production facilities and have completed preparations for mass production.

SIB is a future alternative battery that is attracting attention because it is more economical and eco-friendly than lithium-ion batteries.

Did Musk inflate the autonomous driving function? U.S. investigates alleged Tesla fraud

Citing several sources on the 8th, Reuters reported, “Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Tesla deceived consumers and investors by thinking that it was a fully autonomous driving system while introducing the driving assistance functions ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving.’” It was reported that According to reports, prosecutors have been individually investigating accidents caused by Tesla vehicles equipped with the Autopilot function across the United States. Reuters reported that, separate from federal prosecutors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also investigating.

Currently, Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving are only driving assistance functions that help the driver with driving, braking, and lane changes, and are not completely unmanned driving systems. 

Even Hyundai Motor Group adjusts its speed…the era of autonomous driving is still far away

Hyundai Motor Group’s U.S. self-driving joint venture, Motional, reduced the number of employees and postponed its commercialization plans. Even the Hyundai Motor Group, which had spared no investment in the field of autonomous driving, is delaying the commercialization period, leading to criticism that the era of fully autonomous driving is still far away.

According to Automotive News, an American automobile media outlet, on the 9th, Carl Iagnemma, CEO of Motional, an American self-driving company, recently announced, “We have postponed our plan to commercialize self-driving products and laid off some employees.” Motional did not disclose specific postponement plans or the number of employees laid off.

Motional, the predecessor of Aptiv’s self-driving division, was co-founded in March 2020 by Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, each investing $2 billion (about 2.5 trillion won). In North America, they are pursuing the commercialization of robotaxi equipped with level 4 technology, which is the level of fully autonomous driving.

Autonomous A2G establishes joint venture in Singapore

Autonomous A2G announced on the 10th that it will establish Autonomous2Global, a joint venture in Singapore with KILSA Global Solutions (KGS).

KGS is a subsidiary of KILSA Global, a global localization platform company headquartered in Singapore, and is a solution company that develops and supplies digital technologies related to artificial intelligence (AI) and geospatial.

Through this joint venture, Autonomous A2G expects to be able to launch various local demonstration projects, including the Singapore Science and Technology Agency’s COSMOS project.

Honda supports driverless taxi operating system… “2026 Tokyo operation goal”

The Nippon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) reported on the 8th that Japanese automaker Honda plans to support related operating systems with the goal of operating unmanned taxis in Tokyo in 2026.

According to reports, Honda provides systems such as vehicles and dispatch applications to taxi companies to popularize self-driving unmanned taxis. Through this, remote monitoring tasks essential to ensure autonomous driving safety are collectively entrusted.

Honda uses the ‘Cruise Origin’, a self-driving vehicle without a driver’s seat, jointly developed with Cruz, the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors (GM) in the United States, for this project. Taxi companies plan to start with 500 units and verify business feasibility.

NVIDIA and MS invest in AI-based autonomous driving British startup Wave

Artificial intelligence (AI) chip leaders NVIDIA, Microsoft (MS), and Softbank are attracting attention by investing in British startup Wave Technologies (hereinafter referred to as WayveTechnologies), which is developing technology to apply AI to autonomous driving systems. .

According to Bloomberg News, Wave announced on the 7th (local time) that it had raised a total of $1.05 billion through this investment round (funding round) led by Softbank Group.

Existing investor Microsoft also participated along with NVIDIA in this investment, but the company’s valuation calculated for this investment was not disclosed.

Finetech turns profitable in the first quarter… “OLED equipment business booming”

Finetech announced on the 10th that it had achieved a successful turnaround by recording a consolidated operating profit of 1.2 billion won in the first quarter. During the same period, sales recorded approximately 15 billion won, a 25% increase compared to the same period last year. Net profit for the period also reached 900 million won, successfully turning into a surplus.

This performance growth is interpreted to be due to the boom in the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display manufacturing equipment business. Division sales, which were only 3.1 billion won in the first quarter of last year, more than doubled to 6.7 billion won in the first quarter of this year. In particular, the order backlog in the first quarter also increased by 214% compared to the same period last year.

Samsung Electronics ranks first globally in OLED monitor sales after just one year

According to market research firm IDC on the 8th, Samsung Electronics ranked first in the global OLED monitor market last year, recording a 34.7% market share in terms of value and 28.3% in terms of volume. It has been a year since Samsung Electronics launched its first OLED monitor, the 34-inch Odyssey ‘OLED G8 (G85SB)’ in October 2022.

Samsung Electronics also showed a market share of 20.8% in terms of value in the 2023 global gaming monitor market, including LCD monitors. Since 2019, it has solidified its No. 1 position in the gaming monitor industry for five consecutive years.

The sale of LG Display’s Guangzhou factory is on the rise.

According to the government and industry on the 8th, LG Display recently began discussions with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to review permission to sell the factory. According to the procedure, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy plans to open the Industrial Technology Protection Committee and deliberate on the agenda. The review process usually takes about 3 months. LG Display is planning to save time on administrative procedures by preemptively requesting government review before signing a sales contract. 

LG Display is conducting negotiations with multiple companies, including China’s BOE and CSOT, as acquisition candidates. We are currently conducting due diligence to confirm the sale price. The initially announced sale price was around 1.5 trillion won, but there is a possibility that it will rise to the mid to late 1 trillion won range.