The government of South Korea, where almost half of the world's memory chips are fabricated, wants to foster more domestic production of semiconductor equipment. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates that South Korea produces about 20% of the chip-making systems its semiconductor manufacturers need, a figure that has held steadily since the 1990s. The government ministry also wants to promote domestic development of mobile CPU cores going into applications processors for smartphones. Korean chipmakers last year paid an estimated $331 million in royalties for mobile CPU core designs.
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