Samsung breaks ground for US$33 billion expansion plan

Samsung Electronics has begun construction on a planned US$33 billion expansion of its chip-making base outside Seoul

Samsung Electronics said Thursday it has begun construction on a planned US$33 billion expansion of its chip-making base outside Seoul.

The funds, which will be spent between 2005 and 2012, will be used to expand Samsung's existing semiconductor facilities at Hwaseong, roughly 50 kilometers south of the South Korean capital, said Sung-Hae Park, a company spokeswoman.

When completed, Hwaseong, which is now home to five Samsung chip production lines, and nearby Giheung, where the company has 11 production lines, will be the world's largest semiconductor manufacturing base with a total of 24 production lines and six research and development (R&D) lines, Samsung said.

The planned expansion at Hwaseong is expected to create 14,000 new jobs, according to the company.

The expansion at Hwaseong will focus mainly on memory chips and system-on-chip applications, which integrate several semiconductor components on a single piece of silicon.

Samsung's initial expansion plans for Hwaseong include the construction of a US$860 million Next-Generation R&D (NRD) line, which will focus on the development of next-generation chip technologies on 300-millimeter wafers.

In addition, Samsung will begin construction of the building for Line 15, a planned 300-millimeter production line. Line 15 is expected to begin production next year, Samsung said.

Construction of Lines 16 through 22 are currently planned to take place over the next seven years, it said.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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