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Samsung Begins Production At Its Largest Chip Manufacturing Facility

Samsung Largest Chip Factory
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Amid all the concerns around Samsung‘s chip process technologies, the company has opened its largest chip manufacturing facility yet. The tech giant recently began production at the new P3 line in its Pyeongtaek campus in South Korea. The new production line has been operational since July this year, Korea Times reports. Samsung is manufacturing state-of-the-art NAND flash chips at the facility.

Samsung’s Pyeongtaek campus is a massive 2.9 million-square-meter hub in the Gyeonggi-do province of South Korea, about 70 kilometers south of the capital city of Seoul. It houses over 60,000 employees and serves as one of the main semiconductor facilities globally for the company. The firm manufactures cutting-edge semiconductors including DRAM and V-NAND chips to advanced sub-5nm logic solutions here. US President Joe Biden began his three-day tour of South Korea in May this year at this Samsung factory.

The company is now expanding the facility by opening a new chip fabrication unit, which happens to be its largest anywhere on the earth. The P3 line uses extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines made by Dutch firm ASML. While it is starting with memory chips, Samsung may also produce application processors and other semiconductors at this factory in the future.

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Samsung has four more semiconductor hubs in its homeland, one each in Giheung, Hwaseong, Onyang, and Cheonan. It also operates three chip factories in China — in Suzhou, Tianjin, and Xi’an — and one in the US — in Austin, Texas. The company is building another chip plant in Austin, investing a whopping $17 billion.

Samsung opens new chip manufacturing facility amid a crisis

Samsung is the world’s largest memory chip vendor. However, when it comes to smartphone processors, the company’s manufacturing technologies have been evidently poor. It has struggled to match the performance and yield rates of arch-rival TSMC. This performance gap probably led to Qualcomm switching to TSMC for its next-gen Snapdragon processors. Samsung manufactured its flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset last year.

But despite this crisis, Samsung is continuing to invest heavily in the semiconductor business. The company is also wary that the chip industry is staring at a slowdown amid global economic headwinds, which has reduced consumer spending. However, it believes continuous investment and innovation are necessary to stay afloat.

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“I don’t see good momentum in the second half and into the next year, but we will try to turn this crisis into a good opportunity,” said Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of Samsung’s chip division. “Less investment in a down cycle could lead to bad results in good times. Consistent investment is the right way to go.”