LONDON – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., has said it is seeking permission to build a NAND flash memory wafer fab in China and get it running in 2013, according to local reports. The location has not been decided the reports said.
Samsung is expected to spend about $4 billion to bring up a plant to service the Chinese makers of smartphones and tablet computers. The plant would likely begin production with a 20-nm class manufacturing process, the reports said.
Market research firm Gartner Inc. expects the global NAND flash market to grow 20.6 percent in 2011 to reach a size of about $25 billion. It is forecasting 14 percent annual growth in each of 2012 and 2013 to take the market to $28.7 billion and $32.7 billion, respectively.
The wafer fab plan has to be approved by South Korea government. If approved the fab, "will enable us to meet fast growing demand from our customers and at the same time strengthen our overall competitiveness in the memory industry," a Reuters report quoted Jun Dong-Soo, president of Samsung's memory business, as saying.
Samsung is said to be the world's largest supplier of NAND flash memory with about a 40 percent market share.
Samsung recently fired up the world's largest memory fab in Korea. It's Line-16 megafab is expected to eventually produce NAND flash on 200,000 wafers of 300-mm diameter monthly and the phased investment is expected to total approximately 12 trillion won (about $10 billion) to completion. Samsung began mass production of 20-nm-class NAND flash memory at a rate of about 10,000 300-mm wafers per month in September.