SAN JOSE, Calif. Continuing to expand its capacity, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Wednesday (August 25) disclosed plans that it is looking to build a new wafer fab for use in processing devices at the 65-nm node.
The proposed fab would be a 300-mm facility, which would make NAND-based flash memories and other 65-nm products. The company is already developing its first sub-70-nm parts, including an 8-gigabit flash-memory device for advanced NAND applications.
"We will build a new line for 65-nm," said Jon Kang, senior vice president of technical marketing for the company's U.S. arm, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., based in San Jose.
In an interview at the company's U.S. headquarters, Kang declined to comment on the specifics of the new fab. A spokeswoman for the company said the timing of the facility is "several years out." No other details were given for the plant.
The company currently has a 300-mm fab in Hwaseong, South Korea. In this fab, Samsung is making its new double data rate 2 (DDR2) SDRAM chip lines, based on its new 100-nm process (see March 29 story).
The fab is also producing Samsung's 2-Gbit NAND devices, built around a new and separate 90-nm process (see April 1 story).
"2-Gbit will be big runner for us this year," Kang said. The company is also working 4- and 8-Gbit NAND parts. Last year, it developed a 4-Gbit device, based on its 90-nm process, he said.
Samsung is also developing its initial part, based on its new sub-70-nm process. "65-nm is in R&D," Kang said. One of the first parts in this process will be an 8-Gbit NAND device. Samples are due by year's end, but the product is slated for mass production in 2006, he said.
The moves are part of Samsung's plan to maintain its leadership in the memory market, especially flash. "Our intent is to double the density every year," he said.
Still, the race for leadership in the flash memory market has become tighter as the business continues to grow, according to a new ranking from iSuppli Corp.
Samsung in the first quarter remained the world's number-one flash supplier with revenue of $907 million. However, the company's sales declined sequentially by 4.6 percent in the second quarter, giving it a market share of 21.2 percent, compared to 23.6 percent in the first quarter (see August 25 story).