Monday, July 15, 2019

Japan trade dispute reveals risks of over-dependence on ICT hardware manufacturing

On July 1 Japan announced that it would tighten restrictions on the export to Korea of three materials that are essential for the manufacture of semiconductors, displays and smart phones.  The materials are are fluorinated polyimide, high-purity hydrogen fluoride, and photoresist.  As widely reported in the Korean press, Japan controls a dominant share of the global market for  these materials.
Regardless of how this trade dispute may be resolved, it illustrates a topic of concern in this blog, namely Korea's heavy dependence on manufacture and export of hardware versus software and services.  For example, see these posts.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Naver hires MIT professor Kim Sangbae: Naver Labs in the robotics industry

As reported in the Korea Joongang Daily, Naver Labs has hired MIT professor Kim Sangbae as a technical consultant.  Readers of this blog will know that I met and first posted in 2009 about Mr. Kim's role in the creation of a Gecko-like robot called "Stickybot." (see earlier posts here)  According to the Korea Joongang Daily article, Professor Kim will be advising on a range of possibilities, including the use of bio-mimetic robots to analyze location data and help in drawing high definition 3D maps for autonomous vehicles.  Congratulations to both Naver and Prof. Kim!