Samsung Electronics will launch its semiconductor factory in Xian, China, in May, in hopes to quickly respond to soaring demand for NAND flash memory in China.
Kim Ki-nam, President of Samsung Electronics’ Device Solution memory business, disclosed the news while meeting the press at Samsung building in Seocho-dong, Seoul, on March 26, saying, “The Xian semiconductor factory will start its commercial run in May.”
The factory previously did a test run last December. It is a pre-step line which is a core semiconductor process, the first semiconductor manufacturing line for Samsung to build in China, and the second overseas factory after the one in Austin, Texas, U.S.
The tech giant is to inject a total of US$7 billion over five years, including the initial investment amount of US$2.3 billion in the factory, making it the biggest investment for the company into China in its history.
The factory will manufacture 3D V-NAND, which is Samsung’s proprietary developed technology. Its rivals such as Japan’s Toshiba and America’s Micron failed to develop the product, and the initial production is forecast to be 70,000 sheets a month, based on putting in a 300mm wafer.
Samsung is also constructing a NAND flash post-step line that is to be completed at the end of the year. It is located close to its Xian factory, and the line’s initial investment is about US$500 million.
According to TrendForce, a market research provider, this year’s NAND flash market size will reach US$28 billion, 13.3 percent up from last year, marking two-digit growth for two consecutive years. The demand increase is supposedly derived from the demand rise in solid state drives (SSD).
A Samsung Electronics associate said, “NAND demand is skyrocketing from Chinese electronics companies. We secured a stable production system thanks to the full-scale operation of Xian semiconductor plant, which will help reinforce supporting our client companies and quickly adapting to market shifts.”