Samsung builds sprawling new ‘total semiconductor factory’

Samsung to stop producing LED screens by end of 2020.

Samsung is currently in the process of building a sprawling new component manufacturing complex in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, reports SamMobile. The site notes a local outlet called etnews broke the story regarding the firm’s 7,534-square foot production facility.

The conglomerate’s theoretical third Pyeongtaek-based foundry (P3) is big enough to serve as a “total semiconductor factory” capable of producing a range of microelectronics.

Samsung P3 Complex Details

According to etnews, Samsung has been working on its new chipmaking facility since last September, despite not making an official announcement. The corporation intends the facility to go online in late 2021 after construction is completed. The P3 foundry is said to be around 3,200-square feet longer than Samsung’s $26.4 billion second Pyeongtaek (P2) factory.

Because of its massive footprint, etnews speculates Samsung could intend P3 to serve as a manufacturing hub capable of fabricating NAND, DRAM, image sensors, and handset application processors.

As the South Korean conglomerate has not even acknowledged the site’s existence, its purpose and opening day are unknown. However, the corporation’s recent moves suggest it needs and wants another operational major semiconductor foundry in the near-term.

Samsung’s Accelerated Long-Term Strategy

Although Samsung ranks as the world’s second best-selling component manufacturer in 2019, the company wants the top spot.

Last December, the corporation announced plans to invest $116 billion over ten years to bolster its extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) capacity. The conglomerate is pouring a fortune into the expensive chipmaking process because it provides a pathway toward technological dominance. The firm plans to use the high-density wafer etching technique to produce 5nm components this year.

However, the coronavirus outbreak had the effect of accelerating the corporation’s strategy. Because regional government mandates forced workers and students to operate remotely, online service usage soared. As a result, data centers and server companies began purchasing large quantities of memory chips to expand their throughput quickly.

This demand led the South Korean firm’s first-quarter revenue to rise by 5.6 percent year-over-year.

In response, the conglomerate has worked diligently to increase its output capability and product quality. In March, it became the first manufacturer to use EUV in DRAM mass production. Two months later, the conglomerate revealed it would expand its EUV capacity to meet rising interest in cutting-edge components. Earlier this month, the firm noted it would ramp up P2’s production capacity with a new V-NAND facility.

In the post-pandemic landscape, Samsung could become the global semiconductor market leader years ahead of schedule. That is, only if it can address surging demand for high-performance computing chips. As such, it would not be surprising for the company to unveil P3 to the world with a sooner-than-expected launch date.


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