Intel Gets Mixed Reception from Korean Makers
By John Alderman, Sat Mar 13 00:00:00 GMT 2004

Two of Korea’s biggest electronics makers, LG and Samsung are taking vastly different approaches to semiconductor behemoth Intel, as Samsung yearns to overtake the giant in the mobile arena.

Samsung pushed for a “change of generation” in the field, reported the Chosun Ilbo. Samsung semicon biggie Hwang Chang-kyu said that because mobile products would become the driving force of he semiconductor industry, PC-centric chip makers (Intel) would be overtaken by those with mobile prowess.

LG, meanwhile, joined Intel in both appliance-making and research initiatives. Stories in The Korea Times and the Joong Ang Daily described a meeting between the CTOs of the both firms with a focus on hooking home appliances together with a mobile internet driven interface as part of the package.

(I had a look around LG’s factory and showroom in Seoul last year and saw a demonstration of this vision, with networked refrigerators, washing machines and stereos on display in a cool-looking, but rather less than convincing vision of family life. It seemed desperately in need of a killer app.)

At the meeting LG also announced that it would consider participating in a new research center opened in Korea by Intel this week. But surprise: Intel’s new research center, which Reuters reported will focus on wireless communication and multimedia, is being led by K.S. Lee, formerly of Samsung.

Is this a change of generation, or just a family squabble?