SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today set an aggressive target of increasing its semiconductor sales to $30 billion by 2005--triple the chip revenues expected by the company this year. The sales target includes IC products as well as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) produced by Samsung.
To hit this target, the Korean chip maker said it will continue to emphasize memory products, but it has also organized its System LSI business operation around eight strategic product areas with the target of becoming the world's top supplier in all segments.
Samsung also said it is preparing to increase manufacturing in anticipation of chip shortages. Those plans include the launch of Samsung's first 300-mm wafer production line in the second half of 2001.
"The mercurial growth of the Internet market and digital media products will lead to a shortage of DRAMs until the year 2002," said Y. W. Lee, president of Samsung's semiconductor business unit.
Samsung said it plans to begin production at its new Fab Line 10, which is located in a second fabrication facility in Hwasung, Korea. The company also said it now expects to begin construction of Fab Line 11 later this month. Production in Fab Line 11 is slated to start in the second half of 2001.
The Korean chip manufacturer claimed that these two additional fab lines will allow it to become the first supplier to offer a range of next-generation, high-capacity memory products, including new Rambus DRAMs and flash devices.
In addition, Samsung is planning to set up a 300-mm wafer-processing frontend inside Fab Line 11, according to Lee. "We have secured the technology to construct a 300-mm wafer line within Line 11," he said. "The line will be operational from the second half of 2001."
And in October, Samsung plans to break ground on a new 8-inch wafer fab, which will be exclusively used for its System LSI semiconductors. The facility will handle production of 0.13- to 0.18-micron design rules for ASICs, central processing units, and system-on-chip products with manufacturing now scheduled to start in early 2002, according to the company. The System LSI division is also pushing hard to increase its sale of LCD display drivers, microcontrollers, and embedded processors.
Samsung is aiming to increase the sales of its System LSI division from $1.7 billion this year to $5 billion in 2005. The goal is to increase the division's sales by 24% each year. By 2002, the division will have sales of $3 billion, if that pace is maintained, said the company. Samsung is also pushing hard to increase its market hare in liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) as part of its semiconductor growth campaign.
In 1999, Samsung's total chip sales were about $7 billion, after increasing nearly 50% from $4.7 billion in the recession year of 1998. The company's sales increased 48% in the first half of 2000 to $3.93 billion from $2.65 billion in the same period last year, based on an estimate by IC Insights Inc. (see July 28 story). Samsung officials today said the company expects to record chip sales of $13 billion in 2000.
"Samsung will improve its competitiveness in the memory, System LSI and TFT-LCD businesses, reaching total sales of $30 billion by 2005," vowed Lee.
The company has designated mixed-signal, digital consumer, PC and peripherals, and telecommunications network as four strategic ICs application segments for growth in the next five years.