Samsung to pour KRW 20 trillion into new chip R&D centre

South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung will invest KRW 20 trillion (around $16 billion) into a new semiconductor research and development complex in Giheung, Korea.

Samsung plans to invest about KRW 20 trillion by 2028 to set up a 109,000 square meter facility within its Giheung campus which will crank out advanced research on next-generation devices and processes for memory and system semiconductors, and develop ‘new technologies based on a long-term roadmap.’

Samsung says it intends to ‘overcome the limits of semiconductor scaling and solidify its competitive edge in semiconductor technology’ with the new facility. An announcement ceremony was attended by Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y Lee, President and CEO Kye Hyun Kyung, President of the Memory Business Jung-Bae Lee, President of the Foundry Business Siyoung Choi and President of the S.LSI Business Yong-In Park (pictured).

“Our new state-of-the-art R&D complex will become a hub for innovation where the best research talent from around the world can come and grow together,” said President Kye Hyun Kyung, who also heads the Device Solutions Division. “We expect this new beginning will lay the foundation for sustainable growth of our semiconductor business.”

There’s not much more detail on exactly what the fancy new facility will be focussed on, but as tensions between the west and China get frostier there have been moves by various governments and companies to expand semiconductor manufacturing capabilities that goes beyond the usual market competitiveness, including a huge cash injection by the US government in the form of the CHIPS act.

The main worry in terms of global chip supplies is that so much of it comes out of TSMC in Taiwan, over which China has been ramping up its sabre rattling of late. A doomsday scenario would be China annexes Taiwan, which would heavily disrupt semiconductor production, which is to say nothing of the devastating human cost.

Samsung has enjoyed some wins of late in terms of its chip chops – last month it beat TSMC to the state of the art 3nm process finishing line. 5nm was previously the cutting-edge process, which only Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC are geared up to produce, and the rule of thumb is the lower the nm, the smaller the chip size and better the power efficiency and performance.


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