Samsung to spend $355 billion over five years on chips and next-gen technology

Samsung will expand its investment in what it calls strategic businesses, which include semiconductors and biopharmaceuticals.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer
Samsung leader Lee Jae-yong toured the company's Pyeongtaek chip plant on the first working day of 2021.

Samsung leader Lee Jae-yong, second from right, toured the company's Pyeongtaek chip plant on the first working day of 2021. 

Image: Samsung

Samsung said on Tuesday it will spend 450 trillion won, approximately $355 billion, over five years up to 2026 on strategic businesses, which include semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals, and next-generation technologies.

The spending amount marks an over 30% increase from the previous five-year period, in which the company spent 330 trillion won, the South Korean tech giant said, adding it will drive long-term growth.

The 450 trillion won will be for capital expenditure and research spending, with 360 trillion won of the total to be invested in South Korea, Samsung said, noting countries around the world are recognising the strategic importance of semiconductor and biopharmaceutical industries.

The company said it was important to keep the supply chain for these industries in South Korea amid the current climate, and said it would also generate 80,000 new jobs over the five-year period.

Samsung's latest spending plan is an updated version of the one announced by the company last year in which it said it will spend 240 trillion won for three years on the strategic sectors. Spending and job creation per year have been upped compared to the previous plan.

The announcement also comes after US President Joe Biden visited Samsung's chip plant at Pyeongtaek in South Korea on Friday during his Asia tour, where he met South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and was given a tour by Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of the conglomerate. Samsung said last year that it plans to spend $17 billion to build a new chip plant in Taylor, Texas.

In detailing its new five-year spending plan, Samsung also said in semiconductors, it will continue to invest in memory chips and strengthen research on new materials and chip architecture. The investment will also focus on logic chips such as application processors and image sensors.

The company will continue to work on new chips that combine memory and processing functions onto a single chip.

In foundry, or contract chip production, the company said it plans to bring forward the mass production of chips based on the 3nm node. If Samsung's foundry business grew to become number one in the world, the economic effect on South Korea will be similar to adding another conglomerate bigger than the current Samsung Electronics, the company said in stressing the importance of the sector.

In biopharmaceuticals, its contract manufacturing affiliates Samsung Biologics and Samsung Bioepis will continue spending on expanding their production capacity and biosimilar portfolio. Other strategic sectors included in Samsung's spending plan include 5G and 6G, as well as AI.  

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