Monday, January 25, 2021

Samsung Mulls Building US$10 Billion Chipmaking Plant in US As Chip Wars Intensify

South Korean tech giant Samsung is thinking of building its most advanced logic chipmaking plant in the US, with a price tag of over US$10 billion (~RM40.4 billion), reported Bloomberg citing sources. The investment is apparently aimed at getting more American clients as well as closing the gap with rival and current industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Sources told Bloomberg that, if constructed, the plant would make history as the first in the US to employ extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) – the standard for next generation silicon. The plant would be based in Austin, Texas and would be capable of manufacturing chips as advanced as 3 nanometers in the future. Preliminary plans are to begin construction this year and to start operations as early as 2023.

As mentioned earlier, the conventional wisdom is that having plants on US soil would make winning over American clients a lot easier. Samsung probably has its eye on rival TSMC too, which is already set to complete its own chip factory in Arizona by 2024.

Additionally, the South Korean company might also be looking to exploit anti-China sentiment that is set to remain even though chief antagonist Donald Trump is no longer the US president. Washington has long been concerned over China’s rising economic influence and the fact that so much advanced manufacturing has moved to Asia over the decades.

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