BUSI­NESS

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kang Se­ung-woo ksw@ktimes.com

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics is seek­ing to so­lid­ify its lead in the NAND mem­ory chip sec­tor with a mas­sive in­vest­ment in China. The world’s largest semi­con­duc­tor com­pany said Tues­day it will in­ject $7 bil­lion (7.87 tril­lion won) to beef up its NAND mem­ory pro­duc­tion in its Xian plant.

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics is seek­ing to so­lid­ify its lead in the NAND mem­ory chip sec­tor with a mas­sive in­vest­ment in China.

The world’s largest semi­con­duc­tor com­pany said Tues­day it will in­ject $7 bil­lion (7.87 tril­lion won) to beef up its NAND mem­ory pro­duc­tion in its Xian plant.

Sam­sung opened the world’s largest semi­con­duc­tor plant in Pyeong­taek, Gyeonggi Prov­ince, last month, seek­ing to meet surg­ing de­mand for state-of-the-art 3D NAND flash chips.

To this end, man­age­ment has ap­proved $2.3 bil­lion of the new in­vest­ment over the next three years.

“The in­vest­ment is aimed at meet­ing ris­ing de­mand for NAND flash prod­ucts in the mid- to long-term,” said a Sam­sung of­fi­cial.

Sam­sung is cur­rently the world’s No. 1 chip­maker in both DRAM and NAND flash mem­ory sec­tors — the for­mer used for com­put­ers and the lat­ter for mo­bile de­vices.

The com­pany will dis­cuss the plan with the Chi­nese govern­ment, hop­ing to break ground within this year and start pro­duc­tion in 2019.

The Xian fa­cil­ity, es­tab­lished in 2014, is fab­ri­cat­ing 120,000 3D NAND flash chips per month.

The ex­pan­sion plan is a coun­ter­mea­sure to fully sup­ply the NAND flash mem­ory to the Chi­nese mar­ket, where Sam­sung is ex­pected to see a grow­ing de­mand for the chip to be used for data cen­ters, big data, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and in the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor.

Latetly, the global chip mar­ket is in short sup­ply and Sam­sung is tak­ing ad­van­tage of the mem­ory chip “su­per cy­cle,” which helped it reach a record profit in the sec­ond quar­ter of the year.

Last month, Sam­sung re­ported an op­er­at­ing profit of 14.07 tril­lion won in the cited pe­riod and its semi­con­duc­tor busi­ness was the key driver at 8.03 tril­lion won.

The global NAND mem­ory mar­ket was worth $37 bil­lion and Sam­sung notched a 36.1 per­cent mar­ket share over dis­tant run­ner-up Toshiba’s 17.4 per­cent.

Also, in­dus­try tracker IHS Markit fore­cast that this year’s NAND flash mar­ket will ad­vance 25 per­cent year-on-year to $46.5 bil­lion and to $56.5 bil­lion in 2021.

Last month, Sam­sung an­nounced it would in­vest 37 tril­lion won in ex­pand­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties for chips and dis­play pan­els by 2021.

Cour­tesy of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics’ chip plant in Xian, China

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