South Korea Printed Electronics

South Korea Printed Electronics Market: South Korea Emerges as Global Leader in Printed Electronics Industry


Emergence of South Korea Printed Electronics Market

Printed electronics first emerged in South Korea in the early 2000s as researchers started experimenting with printing electronic circuits instead of traditional silicon wafer production methods. Several key advantages were identified including lower costs of production, less waste generation, and greater design flexibility. South Korean government and large conglomerates recognized the potential of this new technology and began heavily investing in research and development activities.

Government Support Drives Rapid Growth

The South Korean government designated Printed Electronics as one of its strategic future technologies and launched several programs to promote its development and commercialization. Heavy funding was provided to universities and research institutes to set up state-of-the-art fabrication and testing facilities. Various grants and tax incentives were offered to companies willing to invest in printed electronics R&D and manufacturing. This strong government backing played a crucial role in attracting private investment and propelling South Korea to become a global leader in this field within a short span of 10-15 years.

Industry Collaboration Yields Results

South Korean companies like Samsung, LG, and SK collaborated extensively with academic researchers to solve critical technology challenges and accelerate the commercialization of printed electronics. Consortia involving multiple companies and institutions were formed to jointly work on large demonstration projects. This collaborative approach helped optimize available resources and enhance expertise sharing. Major breakthroughs were achieved in materials development, printing techniques, and integration of printed components into functional systems much ahead of international competitors.

Printed Sensors See Widespread Adoption

One of the earliest applications of printed electronics to gain widespread commercial success in South Korea was printed sensors. Building on its advanced optoelectronics industry, the country focuses on developing flexible, low-cost printed photo sensors, temperature sensors, gas sensors and biosensors. These found applications in manufacturing process monitoring, food quality control, environmental monitoring, healthcare diagnostics etc. Several sensor companies attained global leadership positions by becoming reliable suppliers to major tech and medical device manufacturers across the world.

Flexible Displays Demand Surges

Seeing the increasing consumer demand for flexible displays in smartphones and other smart devices, South Korean companies made major investments in printed organic light emitting diode (OLED) display technology development during the 2010s. Pioneering work on large-area, high-resolution color OLED printing paved the way for mass manufacturing of mid-size and large format flexible displays. Today, South Korea dominates the global flexible AMOLED display market led by Samsung and LG. The continuous developments in display printing processes help reduce costs and expand into diverse form factors like foldable/rollable displays.

Advanced South Korea Printed Electronics Market

With miniaturization demands in mobile devices and wearables growing rapidly, there is a mass push towards advanced packaging solutions which reduce device footprint and enhance functionality. South Korean printed electronics researchers have excelled in developing new technologies like embedded wafer-level packaging, 3D multi-layer packaging and printed interconnects to stack various electronic components in a smaller footprint using printing processes. These next-gen packages enable new innovations in areas like IoT, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Outlook for Future Growth

Government programs like Graphene Phase III envisage widespread commercialization of printed electronics applications in diverse sectors like transportation, energy, healthcare, retail etc over the next decade in South Korea. Large technology consolidators are setting up dedicated printed electronics manufacturing parks to cater to global outsourcing demands. The country plans to earn a 30% global market share in flexible hybrid electronics and establish overseas R&D hubs.


In Summary, continuous printer hardware innovations combined with advanced material formulations will help augment productivity and throughput of commercial printing lines. With its strong leadership position, South Korea is well placed to drive the future growth of printed electronics industry worldwide and leverage its benefits across multiple industries.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it