Samsung Electronics`s NAND flash memory Plant in Xian, China.
Samsung Electronics Co. has moved up the schedule to expand the capacity for NAND flash memory production in its complex in Xian, China, to ensure its leading position in the ever-growing market for chips powering mobile, IoT devices, and big data solutions.
The South Korean tech giant is set to begin the construction of the second fab at the Xian plant later this month, according to semiconductor industry sources on Tuesday.
The world’s largest chipmaker would be proceeding with three multi-billion-dollar upscaling projects this year.
Last month, it broke ground on a new extreme ultraviolet line in Hwaseong, Korea. It plans to add a second fab at its Pyeongtaek plant by the end of the year. The next-generation chip facilities are expected to begin operations in 2020, according to the company.
Samsung plans to invest 8 trillion won ($7.49 billion) by 2020 in the Xian expansion project to respond to the fast growing demand for flash memory chips, a type of non-volatile storage widely used to power smartphones and data centers as they do not require electricity. The firm had already secured the site for the second line when constructing its first plant. The chipmaker, already a dominant player in flash memory, will be able to significantly raise capacity by next year.
The company plans to ensure its lead in the premium market by mounting fourth-generation 3D NAND flash memory chips on high-performance solid state drives.
According to the semiconductor industry tracker DRAMeXchange, Samsung Electronics raked in $6.17 billion in NAND flash memory sales in the fourth quarter, up 9.8 percent from the previous quarter. Its gap with the second-tier group is widening as its share was up 1 percentage point at 38 percent, followed by Toshiba with 17.1 percent, Western Digital 16.1 percent, Micron 11.5 percent and SK Hynix 11.1 percent.
Shares of Samsung Electronics closed Wednesday up 0.19 percent at 2,588,000 won.
By Lee Jae-cheol and Kim Hyo-jin
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