Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Korea's goals for AI chips


 As reported by the Korea Joongang Daily, Korea plans to be a leader in the manufacture of AI (Artificial Intellingence) chips.  According to the article, "Despite the country's strong position in memory chips and its growing presence in custom non-memory chips, ..... tomorrow belongs to companies that are best at designing and manufacturing high-performance processors, commonly called AI chips."  Furthermore, " AI chips are purposely built to perform very specific calculations as fast as possible. They are distinct from general-purpose processors, which are designed for a wider variety of functions, and are better suited for very specific, predetermined tasks that require impressive calculation capabilities and low energy consumption, such as voice recognition, autonomous driving, the metaverse and the Internet of Things."

The article goes on to note that " The AI chip category is broad and the definition is somewhat flexible. It includes application-specific integrated circuits, graphical processing units (GPU), neural processing units (NPUs), which are similar but more powerful than GPUs, and neuromorphic chips, which are still largely experimental. Introduced in December, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute(ETRI)'s ArtBrain-K is capable of running 5,000 trillion computations per second. The system is powered by ETRI's AB9 high-performance AI chip, which is an NPU that emulates the neural networks of a human brain."

Monday, May 9, 2022

Korea's leadership in next-generation mobile networks

 

As reported by The Korea Times and other local and international media, Korea is continuing its drive to be a global leader in the development of next generation mobile networks.  As noted by the Times, "Samsung Electronics is taking the lead in standardization of sixth-generation (6G) network technology, as the company proposed to start a global study on securing frequencies for the future network technology, which is expected to be commercialized as early as 2028, the company said Sunday.  With the study on the network technology, the Korean tech giant aims to take the lead in the global standardization and establishment of the 6G network. Samsung released the white paper, "6G Spectrum: Expanding the Frontier," that lays out its vision to secure global frequency bands for 6G."

An earlier Samsung white paper, entitled "6G:  The next hyper --connected experience for all" was published in 2020.  To place these documents in a broader context, they represent Samsung's commitment as part of the Moon Jae In administrations Digital New Deal, which in turn is part of the overall Korea New Deal that encompasses a Green New Deal and more.

The Korean government's commitment to building digital networks can be traced to 1980 and is  embodied in the 1980-81 "Long Term Plan to Foster the Electronics Sector."  This is why I have referred in this blog and in academic publications to Korea's "network-centric digital development."

Korea's current leadership in setting global standards for 6G is made possible only because today's ICT-sector leaders stand on the shoulders of giants like Minister Oh Myung, Dr. Kim Jae-Ik and their colleagues in industry, government and academia.  They saw, in the revolutionary 1980s, what we are living through these days in the early 2020s. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Korea's Lead in 5G Speed

 


A new OpenSignal report on 5G progress in the Asia-Pacific region underscores South Korea's global lead in implementing 5G network infrastructure. (click on the graphic for a full size version)  The report includes measures of speed, along with user experience and 5G availability and reach.  As shown in this graphic, Korea leads the region (and therefore probably the world) in average 5G download speed, 5G peak download speed and 5G upload speed.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Korea's place in global EV battery market


 As shown in this infographic,  (click for a full size version, China leads the world in production of batteries for electric vehicles.  Korean companies together make up almost another third of the global market.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Korea's economic journey in the OECD

 


A column contributed by Vincent Koen of the OECD provides a valuable sketch of Korea's economic progress since it joined the OECD in 1996.  (click on the graphic for a full size version) Particularly notable, as illustrated, is that Korea's GDP per capita surpassed that of Japan in 2020.  As reported by The Korea Times, the column notes that "The so-called "Miracle on the Han River" had transformed one of the world's poorest countries at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War into an economy where per-capita income matched that of some European countries. Nevertheless, it was still far below the OECD average in 1996. Over the past 25 years, Korea has carried out major economic reforms, aligned its policies on OECD best practices in many areas, increased its integration into the global economy and further enhanced its technological and human potential. GDP per capita converged to the OECD average and overtook Japan's, and Korea became the world's 10th-largest economy."