LONDON – South Korean Electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has said it will spend $7 billion on a NAND flash wafer fab in Xian, a city in the northwest of China, according to reports the reference regulatory filings as their source.
Samsung announced it was looking to build NAND flash memory fab from which it could service Chinese makers of smartphones and tablet computers in December 2011. It was reported at the time that the plant would likely begin production with a 20-nm class manufacturing process and was intended to be in commercial production before the end of 2013.
Samsung is reported to have said Monday (April 2) that it will spend $2.3 billion on the first stage of construction of the plant with a total of $7 billion to be spent over the next few years. Although Samsung has wafer fabs in Austin, Texas, the Xian wafer fab would represent the company's largest overseas investment in chip production, a Bloomberg report said.
The Xian location was selected because "the production and R&D bases of global IT corporations are concentrated around Xian and the site is well-equipped with industrial infrastructure," The Chosunilbo quoted a Samsung spokesperson as saying.
"Xian City offers excellent infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce and is an important center for the information technology industry in China," a spokesman for Samsung said in an email exchange with EE Times. "Discussions are in an early stage and any agreement will be subject to approval by Chinese government agencies."
Korea and China are destined to become Samsung's primary locations for NAND flash memory production.
Samsung said in September 2011 that it had commenced production at Line-16, a wafer fab capable of producing DRAM and NAND flash memories, at the company's Nano City Complex in South Korea's Gyeonggi province and on which it said it had invested 12 trillion Korean won (about $10.2 billion). Construction of that fab began in May 2010 with equipment installation completed one year later. Trial production began in June 2011 with commercial production following in September.
-- Dylan McGrath contributed to this report from San Francisco.
Yes, fabs are getting larger! This depends what you mean with "Fab". One cleanroom at 100k/m to 200k/m or 3 to 4 separate buildings adjacent at about 50k/m. Peter got it pretty much right, though $10B is on the high side! Don't forget Flash Alliance Fab 4 at 200k/m+, Fab 5 phase 1 and phase 2.
Clearly the US is not the only one moving manufacturing to China. This shows how being the country that manufactures the final product draws the manufacturing of the component parts over time. It's like a chain reaction.
thank you Peter, I remember saying to my students that a modern silicon fab can cost as much as 1Billion, and it wasn't that long time ago...looks that today's number is more like 10Billion...I wonder how long before it will reach 100Billion, probably at that point there will be 2-3 companies left standing...Kris
Well in the same story I referenced "Line 16" in Korea where Samsung is spending $10 billion.
The record will probably go to TSMC which has said it will spend about $10 billion on four phases of its "gigafab" Fab 15 with a total capacity of more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month.
TSMC is also reported to have reserved the land for a 450-mm wafer fab development with a projected investment exceeding NT$800 billion (about $26 billion). But that is in the future and may include equipment development and process development costs.