SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) — Hanwha Precision Machinery Co., a major assembly automation equipment maker in South Korea, said Monday it has developed core semiconductor packaging equipment in collaboration with the country’s No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc.

Hanwha Precision and SK hynix worked together to commercialize the die bonder, a machine that attaches a semiconductor die to a package, such as a printed circuit board in the back-end chip packaging process.

Hanwha Precision Machinery said its die bonder has better material replacement time compared to other products and that it applied SK hynix’s air lift-type semiconductor pickup tool, which reduces stress-induced damage to chips.’

Their collaboration comes as South Korea has been pushing to boost localizations of key industrial materials and equipment to reduce its heavy reliance on Japan, which imposed tighter regulations on exports to Seoul last year.

The country views the Japanese moves as retaliation against 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.