Samsung is spending $15 billion on a new semiconductor chip research facility

Samsung has announced that it has started working on a new research and development facility for semiconductor chips. The new plant is coming up at its Giheung Campus in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, in South Korea, and the company is spending KRW 20 trillion (around $15 billion) on this facility by 2028.

Samsung Electronics Vice President, Lee Jae-Yong, was present at the groundbreaking ceremony that was held earlier today. Over 100 other Samsung officials, including Device Solutions CTO Jeong Eun-Seung, Jin Kyo-Young (President of SAIT), Lee Jeong-Bae (Director of Memory Business Division), Siyoung Choi (President of Samsung Foundry), and Yong-In Park (President of System LSI), and employees were present for the ceremony.

This is Lee’s first official move since he received the presidential pardon last week in a case related to bribery. The South Korean firm’s Giheung Campus is where the company started manufacturing its first semiconductor chips over 40 years ago. It is also the place where it manufactured its first 64MB DRAM in 1992.

The new semiconductor facility will cover 109,000 square meters and play the role of a critical research base for the company in semiconductor R&D fields such as fabless system semiconductor design, foundry, and memory. The dedicated semiconductor R&D line will be operational sometime in 2025.

Samsung’s chip division has contributed significantly to the company’s success over the past few years, especially since the chip shortage after the COVID-19 pandemic. It contributed 2/3rd of the company’s operating profit in Q2 2022. The South Korean firm recently started the mass production of the world’s first 3nm chips.

Although it is among the only two firms (apart from TSMC) capable of manufacturing chips using 7nm or better technologies, it has been losing clients for a few years due to yield and power efficiency issues. It is being reported that the company’s 3nm chips will be better due to the GAA (Gate All Around) technology that improves power efficiency and performance.

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