Samsung Electronics will start the construction of Line 18 of Hwasung Plant with a total floor area of 300,000m2 by investing 6 trillion won (US$5.4 billion) in November to strengthen the competitiveness of its micro foundry business. The new construction of Hwaseong Plant was originally scheduled for next year, but the early start of the construction was decided to preemptively respond to a surging demand for semiconductors.
According to Samsung Electronics and Hwaseong City on August 18, Samsung Electronics is pushing ahead with the construction of new fab Line 18 (tentative name) beside Line 17 in the Hwasung Complex of Samsung Electronics with the aim of starting construction in November. Its building area is 40,536㎡ and one factory building will be built. The total floor area is 298,114 square meters. It is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2019. The project will cost 6 trillion won (US$5.4 billion). Its main products will be non-memory semiconductors except for memories (DRAMs) and APs.
New Line 18 will be loaded with dozens of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure devices. This device is a key device which draws circuits on semiconductor silicon wafers. Samsung Electronics introduced the world's first four-nanometer microprocessing roadmap, and EUV devices are vital to processes below 7nm.
Despite the absence of its head, moving up the construction of the 18th line was attributed to its strong will for the “super-gap strategy” to solidify its first place in the semiconductor field. This year, Samsung Electronics is expected to take the No. 1 spot in the semiconductor industry for the first time in more than two decades, beating Intel.
"This year, our facility investment will rise sharply compared to the previous year. In the first half of this year, we will spend 22.5 trillion won (US$20.2 billion) in facility investments to improve line performance in the semiconductor and DP business,” Samsung Electronics explained.
The early construction of the 18th line also stemmed from the company’s will to boost its foundry competitiveness. This year, Samsung Electronics promoted the foundry business team of system LSI of the Semiconductor Business Division to a department. The company invested US$1 billion in its plant in Austin of the US in June, and will additionally invest US$1.5 billion by 2020. According to market researcher IHS, TSMC of Taiwan was the world leader in the foundry business with a 50% market share last year. In contrast, Samsung Electronics ranked fourth with a 7.9% market share and SK Hynix 27th with a 27% market share.