SAN FRANCISCO—South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said Wednesday (Sept. 21) it has commenced production at its new Line-16 NAND flash memory chip fab at the company's Nano City Complex in South Korea's Gyeonggi province.
Samsung (Seoul) said it commenced mass production of the semiconductor industry's first DDR3 (double data rate 3) DRAM based on 20-nm class production technology. The 20-nm class DDR3 DRAMs will be produced at a separate Samsung fab. (Samsung defines 20-nm class as a process node between 20- and 29-nm).
"The global semiconductor industry is in a period of fierce cyclical volatility, so the opening of this new memory fab and the start of mass production of the world's first 20nm-class DRAM are important milestones to reinforce Samsung's industry leadership," said Samsung Electronics Chairman Kun-hee Lee, in an opening ceremony for the fab, according to a statement issued by Samsung. The ceremony was attended by about 500 people, including other high-ranking Samsung executives, the company said.
Samsung said it has invested 12 trillion Korean won (about $10.2 billion) in Line-16. The company said it began construction of the fab in May 2010 and completed installing one year later. Trial production began in June and the facility was made operational for mass production in August, Samsung said. Starting this month, Samsung began mass production of high-performance 20-nm-class NAND, with a projected volume of more than 10,000 300-mm wafers per month, the company said.
Samsung said it plans to ramp up production of NAND to meet market demand. The company said it plans to begin production of more advanced memory chips with high density and performance using 10-nm-class process technology next year.
It's called Rock's law according to wikipedia.
"Rock's law or Moore's Second Law, named for Arthur Rock, says that the cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years. As of 2003, the price had already reached about 3 billion US dollars."
Three billion dollar in 2003. Eight years later on implies four times higher cost. This is pretty close to the 10+ billion in Samsung investment. So the most expensive fabs seem to still follow its trajectory.
Not many semiconductor companies have revenues even close to fund that kind of investments.
Samsung semiconductor division from the year 1984 had lots of milestones and the new one is created now. Samsung spends about 8% of its annual sales in R&D. This way their growth in memory,systemLSI and storage are quite appreciable.