All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Samsung to invest $4bn in mobile chip plant

21 Aug 2012
Samsung logo

Samsung has begun planning a renovation of its Austin, Texas semiconductor plant.

The tech giant plans to retrofit its plant to move from memory chip fabrication to more mobile chip manufacturing. The plant will manufacturer chips for products like the iPad and iPhone, as well as Samsung's mobile products.

Samsung expects the retrofit to be completed by the second half of 2013 and cost around $4bn.

"We are extremely pleased to extend our presence in Austin and reinforce Samsung's capacity for highly advanced logic products," said Dr Woosung Han, president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor.

"The added ability in production will allow our customers to better respond to market needs."

Following the factory renovations the plant will focus on system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors for smartphones and tablets. The plant renovations will primarily convert two memory chip lines into logic chip lines that will be used to make mobile GPUs and CPUs.

While the investment could be seen as a sign of progress for American manufacturing, analysts warn the move isn't that clear cut. Director and chief analyst of semiconductors at IHS Len Jelinek told V3 that the move points more towards industry strategy than anything else.

According to Jelinek, the move to focus on SoC chips in the Austin site is more about the talent and infrastructure already at the plant than about the potential of US manufacturing as a whole.

"In the world of chip manufacturing, the ability to cluster semiconductor fabrication plants (FABs) is critical to success. It is all about infrastructure and engineering talent," he said.

"This is why companies like Intel, TSMC and Samsung build on 'campuses' rather than spread FABs out all over the world. Global Foundries in New York is taking the same approach, relying on the technology hub around Albany to gain access to engineering talent and the technology infrastructure available."

Last year there was talk of Apple shifting production of its iPhone and iPad-based chips away from Samsung and towards Taiwanese manufacturer TMSC.

Apple and Samsung have been in an intense legal dispute involving the possible patent infringement of iPhone technology since late last year.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
James Dohnert
About

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

More on Mobile Phones
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Green IT poll

How important is it to your business that a cloud provider uses renewable energy like solar or wind to power their data centres?
19%
6%
5%
1%
69%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
mike-schutz-microsoft-server-and-cloud-division

Microsoft's Mike Schutz discusses the firm's cloud computing strategy [Video]

V3 interviews Microsoft general manager for Windows Server and Management, Mike Schutz, to find out why customers should adopt the Private Cloud

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

VB Developer (VB, VB.Net, VB Developer, VB.Net Developer

VB Developer (VB, VB.Net, VB Developer, VB.Net Developer...

Front-End Developer C#, MVC, HTML5, CSS3

Front-End Developer C#, MVC, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript...

1st line support / 2nd line support

I have a client based in Oxford who is recruiting for...

Storage Administrator

Our client requires an experienced Storage Administrator...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.