Samsung Electronics Co., whose second-quarter performance would have made it the world’s top semiconductor maker, announced to reap more profits from chips by making them not only for its own use by also for others by reinforcing the foundry business where Taiwanese and Chinese players are traditionally strong.
The company launched a stand-alone pure-play foundry earlier this year and declared to make it the world’s second largest while showing off its cutting-edge fabrication technology to corporate clients at the Samsung Foundry Forum Korea 2017 on Tuesday.
The Korean tech giant is the dominant leader in the memory sector, which makes up 30 percent of the total semiconductor market. But it needs to strengthen its non-memory sector to become an unrivaled integrated device maker.
Samsung Electronics has beaten Intel to become the world’s biggest semiconductor vendor in the second quarter thanks to explosive demand for memory to power data centers and mobile devices. The two behemoths have the financial scale and technological expertise to design, manufacture and package chips into integrated circuits to be sold for finished phones, PCs and others.
Samsung Foundry Forum Korea 2017
Intel’s rank, however, remains strong as it is unrivaled in non-memory.
Earlier this year, Samsung Electronics divided its non-memory business into two divisions to operate them as independent entities.
One is devoted to system-on-chips powering smartphones and image sensors used in cameras. The foundry unit manufactures and packages chips upon orders from corporate clients.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) currently dominates the foundry market, followed by U.S.-based GlobalFoundries (GF) and Taiwan-based United Microelectronics (UMC). Samsung Electronics at fourth claims it can soon move up to the second.
“Demand for customized chips is growing in parallel with the advance and applications of the internet of things, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence that demand high-performance chips,” said Lee Sang-hyun, vice president of marketing for Samsung Foundry.
By Lee Dong-in
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