Samsung's Pyeongtaek chip complex starts production

Robyn Ryan
July 5, 2017

Analysts say a global shortage of chips may persist throughout 2017, driving prices higher and benefiting major suppliers such as Samsung and another South Korean chipmaker, SK Hynix (KSE: 000660.KS - news).

Samsung Electronics' plant in Pyeongtaek is the world's biggest plant based on single semiconductor line. This spat has delayed adding an extra fabrication unit to a Japanese plant run by the two firms, keeping Toshiba from meeting frothing demand as worldwide competitors ramp up production. According to Samsung Electronics on Tuesday, the fab would be turning out 3D VNAND flash memory of 64-layer die in a capacity of 256-Gb (gigabit per second) to meet consumer demand for superfast and super-performing storage to power mobile devices and PCs with a goal to make the version its mainstream along with 48-layer flash by the end of the year.

Samsung said its plan could open up to 440,000 roles by 2021.

"With the dedication and support of our employees, customers and partners, our new Pyeongtaek campus represents a new chapter in Samsung's semiconductor operations", said Kwon Oh-hyun, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, at the ceremony.

In hopes of retaining the number one spot in the future, the company has announced its plans to invest at least $18.6 billion in its home country to boost production of memory chips. Samsung plans to invest another 14.4 trillion won in the new factory by 2021.

Samsung on Tuesday also said Samsung Display plans to invest around 1 trillion won on a new OLED display complex in South Korea. Samsung uses OLED screens for its high-end Galaxy smartphones. It has not set an investment amount or time frame.

Some analysts said Samsung's production technologies are at least a year ahead of rivals such as Toshiba and SK Hynix.

Samsung's investment comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in calls on local business to create more jobs and help bolster the economy. The first Xi'an plant is now producing NAND chips. The factory's production capacity is equivalent to around 200,000 300mm wafers per month, but Samsung's additional investments likely will almost double that figure by 2021.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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