Microsoft gathers the quartet of South Korean tech titans for high-stakes AI summit

Amy Fan, Taipei; Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Microsoft touted as the world's largest AI service provider, has reportedly invited several leading figures in the South Korean tech industry to attend a high-level meeting.

Scheduled to take place at the company's headquarters, the three-day Microsoft CEO Summit is anticipated to kickstart on May 14, 2024. Analysts suggest this face-to-face exchange could deepen collaboration between South Korean enterprises and Microsoft, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship in the AI domain.

Big league meeting

According to sources cited by Korea Economic Daily and Maekyung, the summit will be co-hosted by the company's founder Bill Gates, and current CEO Satya Nadella. Insiders revealed that the invited attendees include executives such as Kye Hyun Kyung from Samsung's Device Solutions (DS) division, Noh-Jung Kwak, CEO of SK Hynix, Cho Joo-wan, President of LG Electronics, and Yoo Young-Sang, President of SK Telecom (SKT).

The summit aims to facilitate one-on-one discussions between top executives from both sides, exploring potential collaboration opportunities in various AI-related fields. It is reported that discussions at the summit will likely cover topics such as AI semiconductor collaboration between Samsung DS and Microsoft, as well as potential supply partnerships for Samsung's AI inference chips, MACH-1 and MACH-2.

Collaborations goes both ways

Microsoft's global data centers and cloud services present opportunities for collaboration in areas such as DRAM, NAND Flash, High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM), Compute Express Link (CXL), and server data storage equipment.

On the flip side, Microsoft seeks to market its products and services to South Korean enterprises. For instance, Samsung and LG dominate the global smartphone, home appliance, and TV markets, serving as prime channels for Microsoft's AI services to directly reach consumers.

Rumors suggest that LG is interested in establishing an AI alliance with Microsoft. LG sells approximately 100 million home appliances annually and Samsung produces 300 million smartphones each year. Integrating Microsoft's AI services with the South Korean giant's devices could significantly enhance Microsoft's influence in the AI industry, potentially surpassing competitors like Google and Meta.

Regarding SKT, the company already has extensive cooperation with Microsoft, particularly through its leadership in the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA), aimed at expanding the influence of the telecom industry. Collaboration with GTAA members like SKT could enhance Microsoft's competitiveness in localized AI solutions.

According to reports, SKT President Yoo Young-Sang will discuss various collaboration plans in broad areas such as AI infrastructure and LLMs with Microsoft executives. In July 2023, SKT, along with Deutsche Telekom, e&, Singtel, and others, established GTAA, with founding members spanning over 50 countries and serving over 1.3 billion users globally.