Created: 01/23/04

Korea's Electronics Industry - 2004 Edition
Soon-Bok Lee, Mikyoung Lee, Michael Pecht

Since the 1970s, the Korean electronics industry has undergone a remarkably consistent and rapid expansion in terms of size and capacity, technological expertise and sophistication, income earned, and impact on the world market. As the profits in DRAM manufacturing diminished and the Asian economic crisis starting in 1997 affected Korean currency stability, Korean semiconductor companies began to shift strategies. Efforts to reduce competition and increase cooperation among Korean and international chipmakers have also begun to bear fruit.

As the same time, the prices of major exported electronics products and systems had to be reduced dramatically due to the drop in Korean currency value and in the customer confidence index during the economic crisis. Exports of electronics products dropped from an 11.1 percent average annual percentage rate during 1990 to 1997 to 6.7 percent in 1998 for the first time in history. Recovery started with tremendous efforts to restructure the financial system and business framework. In spite of all its challenges, today Korea is a top electronics manufacturer and expects even greater success. The Korean electronics industry is well known worldwide and expects even greater success.

Korea's Electronics Industry, 2004 Edition documents the technologies, manufacturing procedures, capabilities, and infrastructure that have made Korea so successful in the electronics industry. This information, coupled with an understanding of the future direction of Korean electronics, can help pinpoint profitable market sectors compete in and areas that might produce beneficial subcontracting, outsourcing, and partnership agreements. Further, since the world market and the Korean economy have experienced significant changes and the new Korean government confronts substantial challenges, it is useful now to review the status, capabilities, and plans of the major Korean electronics companies.

ISBN 0-9707174-6-6
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

copyright © 2004 by CALCE and the University of Maryland, All Rights Reserved