SK Group leading rivals in developing glass substrates for AI chip packaging, made in the USA

Samsung and SK Group are pushing for early dominance in glass substrates, which would be a 'game changer' for next-gen AI chips, semiconductor tech.

4 minutes & 22 seconds read time

South Korean giants Samsung Electronics and SK Group are "speeding up efforts" to secure future dominance in glass substrates, which would be a "game-changer" for the semiconductor and AI industries.

SK Group leading rivals in developing glass substrates for AI chip packaging, made in the USA 132

In a new report from the Korea Herald, Samsung and SK Group are reportedly speeding up the development of glass substrate semiconductor research, which could "drastically boost the data capacity and speed of semiconductors in the era of artificial intelligence."

Samsung and SK Group leaders have visited their respective business sites that are producing glass substrates, renewing their commitment to the game-changing semiconductor technology. Glass substrates will overcome the limits of conventional plastic substrates, heavily boosting the performance and power efficiency of future-gen semiconductors.

Glass is the next generation of substrates, replacing plastic with glass substrates compared to conventional plastic substrates seeing multiple benefits. Glass substrates have a smoother surface, no longer requiring the interposer to mount chips on the substrate. Glass substrates are also thinner, improving chip processing speed by up to 40%, while reducing power consumption by 30%. Impressive numbers.

The South Korean companies have spent over 10 years trying to commercialize glass substrate semiconductor technology, with the Korea Herald adding that Samsung and SK Group are "now in the final stage to start mass production".

Absolics, the chip packaging affiliate of SKC, the chip materials business affiliated with SK Group, is one of the companies that will most likely mass produce glass substrates earlier than competitor Samsung. SKC established Absolics jointly with Applied Materials in 2021 in order to develop glass substrates. The first $300 million plant will be located in Covington, Georgia, and is expected to have a production capacity of 12,000 square meters of glass substrates.

An SKC official said: "We plan to start mass production in the first half of 2025. Discussions are also underway to build the second plant with an annual production capacity of 72,000 square meters".

The headquarters of Absolics was one of the key destinations" for SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who is on a long business trip to the United States. Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong recently visited the headquarters of Samsung Electro-Mechanics recently, with the company announcing plans of getting into the glass substrate semiconductor market, aiming for 2026 mass production.

It's not just SK and Samsung that are pushing into the world of glass substrate semiconductor technology, with LG Innotek, the electronics parts unit of LG Group, also looking into glass substrates. LG Innotek CEO Moon Hyuk-soo said at the company's regular shareholders meeting in March: "One of our major clients is a US chip firm, and the company has shown great interest in glass substrates, so we are also preparing (for it)".

Intel recently announced its semiconductor roadmap to adopt glass substrates in its future-gen chips by 2028 or so, with the US chip giant investing $1 billion into it, while AMD and NVIDIA are also looking at applying glass substrates as early as 2026.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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