​Samsung's new V-NAND plant begins production

Samsung Electronics' largest ever semiconductor plant will handle demand for V-NAND chips from global clients such as Apple.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer on

Samsung Electronics' new semiconductor fabrication line in Pyeongtaek has begun operations and started shipping to clients, the company announced.

The line will produce the firm's latest three-dimensional V-NAND flash chips.

Samsung said the new line will service semiconductor demand from global tech clients in datacentres, big data, AI, and automotives.

The latest chips from the line are also likely heading for new smartphone line-ups in the fall, from clients such as Apple and Chinese vendors, as well as for its own Galaxy Note 8.

The company last month announced that it was expanding its line-up of 64-layer, 256-Gigabit, 3-bit 3D V-NANDs from servers to mobiles and PCs.

Data-intensive new businesses have caused a global shortage in memory chips, which has been a boon to the South Korean tech giant, helping it clinch record profits in the first quarter.

The high-demand will likely continue going forward, as processing powers of logic chips are growing at an exceptional rate that exceeds capacity growth speed of memory chips.

The company projects an additional investment of 30 trillion won -- likely enough for two more lines -- into its Pyeongtaek line up to 2021 to expand production capacity.

Samsung's Pyeongtaek line began construction in May 2015 and took 15 trillion won to build.

The company's other semiconductor plants in South Korea are at Giheung and Hwaseong where it makes DRAMs, NANDs, and processors for clients.

It also has a NAND line in Xian, China, which was completed and began operations in 2014, where it services local clients. It has another semiconductor line in Austin, Texas.

An additional 6 trillion won will go into its existing Hwaseong line. Samsung is also considering expanding its Xian line.

A new OLED line for Samsung Display is also being reviewed, the company said.

The South Korean tech giant has used OLED for its Galaxy line of smartphones, and competitors LG, Apple, and Google are all migrating to the technology from LCD.

Samsung boasts near 50 percent shares in NAND globally. Rival Toshiba's sale of its NAND business has drawn prospective buyers such as compatriot SK Hynix, as well as Chinese and US firms due to the high profitability expected from the business.

Samsung is expected to announce its preliminary earnings for the second quarter on Friday, which will most likely be its highest in its history thanks to memory chips and sales of the S8 series.

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