Samsung SDI President Jun Young-hyun gives a speech celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary. (Samsung SDI)
South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI on Wednesday celebrated its 50th anniversary at its headquarters in Giheung, Gyeonggi Province, pledging to lead the next half-century with a “supergap” initiative.
The supergap initiative is a strategy led by Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and de facto leader of Samsung Group, to widen its technology gap with competitors.
“Samsung SDI must secure supergap technology that can offer the highest level of quality and safety. Let’s secure next-generation and even next-next-generation battery technology and lead the market,” Samsung SDI President Jun Young-hyun said at the ceremony.
Due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, some 100 staff and executives at the ceremony all wore masks and sat at least 1 meter apart from each other after having their temperatures checked and cleaning their hands with sanitizer.
Samsung SDI’s origin dates to 1970 when Samsung Group and Japanese electronics maker NEC jointly established Samsung-NEC, which manufactured electronic parts such as vacuum tubes used for displays.
In 1974, Samsung purchased business rights from NEC to become independent and changed the company name to Samsung Jeongwan Industry.
In the 1980s, Samsung Jeongwan Industry led the global color cathode-ray tube market by producing some 10 million such products annually. Later, it diversified its business portfolio to liquid crystal displays, plasma display panels and organic light-emitting diodes.
In 1994, Samsung Group assigned its battery business to Samsung Jeongwan. The company later changed its name to the current Samsung SDI in 1999 and developed the highest capacity cylindrical lithium-ion battery in the industry in the same year.
By Kim Byung-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)