Why Samsung is Working on 15 Billion USD Next-Gen Chip?

Samsung building
Photo: Collected

To strengthen its position as a leader in cutting-edge chip technology, Samsung Electronics hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new semiconductor research and development (R&D) campus in Seoul.

To build the 109,000 square meter complex on its Giheung campus in Yongin, which is 50 kilometers south of Seoul, Samsung wants to invest approximately 15.06 billion USD by 2028. Samsung is anticipated to take the lead in areas of cutting-edge research for memory and system semiconductors thanks to the planned facility.

Around 100 Samsung executives and staff members attended the ceremony, including Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong, who last week obtained a presidential pardon for his conviction for bribery involving former President Park Geun-Hye, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Lee made his first public appearance following his pardon at that time.

At the Giheung campus, where the first shoveling to construct a semiconductor facility took place 40 years ago, we begin a new challenge, Lee added. “Let’s keep up the practice of upfront investments focused on technology. Let’s use technology that doesn’t yet exist to build the planet of the future “Added he.

Industry observers interpret Lee’s visit to the site as a hint that the Samsung heir is committed to helping the country overcome its recent economic difficulties by strengthening its semiconductor capabilities. After receiving a pardon, Lee declared last week that he would put more effort into upholding his business responsibilities and “helping the economy by providing more jobs for young people”.

Samsung to improve collaboration in the area of materials, equipment

Samsung stated that by building the R&D complex, it intends to improve collaboration with both local and international partners in the area of materials, parts, and equipment.

Samsung must innovate in a variety of areas to produce more competitive logic and memory chips, including transistor architecture, manufacturing techniques, and device design. Examples of these areas of innovation include new materials (for fins, gates, contacts, and dielectrics, to name a few). The creation of actual process technologies and fundamental research are frequently physically separated by corporations, but the new R&D center will perform activities on all but the device design front.

To “overcome the boundaries of semiconductor scaling,” the new center will handle advanced research on next-generation transistors, fabrication techniques for memory and logic devices, and the search for new technologies. In essence, this entails creating production nodes as well as investigating novel materials and manufacturing processes. It is not particularly surprising that Samsung will need to invest $15 billion on the center over the next six years given that all of these R&D operations today demand a massive scale.

Around 20 football fields’ worth of space will be taken up by the new R&D center, which will be situated on a Samsung site not far from Giheung, South Korea. In order to put the figure into a more useful context, it should be noted that Apple Park, the company’s corporate headquarters, has a total area of about 259,000 m2, and it employs over 12,000 people in roles ranging from management to product development.

R&D facility will collaborate with Samsung’s current R&D line

The brand-new R&D facility will collaborate with Samsung’s current R&D line in Hwaseong, which focuses on memory, system LSI, and foundry technologies, as well as the company’s manufacturing plant in Pyeongtaek, which can create both DRAM (using 10nm-class technology) and logic chips (using 5nm-class and thinner nodes). Furthermore, it will be Samsung’s 12th semiconductor R&D facility. This will be the first large-scale semiconductor R&D facility for the corporation.

Three years ago, Samsung declared its intention to invest KRW 133 trillion ($100 billion today, $115 billion in 2019) on semiconductor research and development by the year 2030. The corporation invested $15 billion in a single research and development facility, which is completely in line with its aim to spend KRW 73 trillion ($54.6 billion) on R&D operations in South Korea.

According to President Kye Hyun Kyung, who also oversees the Device Solutions (DS) Division, “Our new state-of-the-art R&D complex will become a hub for innovation where the top research talent from around the world can come and thrive together.” “We anticipate that this new beginning will create the groundwork for the long-term expansion of our semiconductor business.”