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Samsung starts construction of world's most expensive fab

Posted: 11 May 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FinFET? 10nm? fab? DRAM?

Samsung broke the ground on its $14-billion fabrication plantthe world's most expensive to dateat the Godeok Industrial Complex in Pyeontaek City Gyeonggi-go province, also known as "Samsung Semiconductor Valley." The South Korean giant will use the new fab to build 10nm FinFET semiconductors.

"The new fabrication plant in Pyeongtaek constitutes an important part of our vision to establish a globally balanced semiconductor fabrication network that further solidifies our strong global presence," Jim Elliott, corporate vice president, Samsung Semiconductor told EE Times.

"The plant will play a key role in our future business initiatives, as we continue to invest in areas that contribute much towards our industry leadership," he added.

Samsung's fabrication line

Inside Samsung's announced 2.5 million square foot memory fabrication line in Xi'an China. (Source: Samsung)

The new plant will be finished in 2017, according to Samsung, and is reported to be almost as bigat 31 million square feetas Samsung's next two biggest fabs put together at Giheung and Hwaseong South Korea. It has been three years since Samsung constructed its last semiconductor fab in Hwaseong. Samsung expects the new plant to have the industry's largest capacity.

Although Samsung has not yet confirmed what chips will be fabricated there, the new plant is reported to employ about 150,000 people and to produce about $40 billion dollars per year in chip revenue producing DRAMs alone. It is also reported to be targeting the mobile space, server sector and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Samsung's Austin wafer fab

Samsung's Austin wafer fabrication plant for DRAM with a total approximate area of 580,000 square feet cost a mere $260 million to build. (Source: Samsung)

Samsung reported that its smartphone sales were slumping 20 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014, while its semiconductor sales surged 50 per cent. Samsung has since been reported to have surged back in smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2015. However, its semiconductor division is still outpacing its smartphones potentially making its investment in a 10nm fab a smart (if expensive) move.

Samsung's groundbreaking ceremony

Image and caption from ETNews: Samsung Electronics is holding a ceremony along with Nam Kyungpil Gyeonggi-do Province Governor (far left), Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee JaeYong (2nd from the left), President Park Gunhye(centre), Minister of Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy Yoon Sang-Jik (2nd from the right), Kwon Oh-Hyun Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Semiconductor (far right) for the start of construction at the 'Samsung Electronics Semiconductor Pyeongtaek Complex' ground breaking ceremony at Godeok Urban Innovation Corporation industrial complex on the 7th.

The new plant was first reported by Reuters who cited local media follow-up reporting (ET News).

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