world''s largest memory chipmaker, Samsung Electronics
Co. Ltd, today announced that it would invest $3.5 billion
by 2008 in its chip plant in Texas to produce flash memory
chips, while unveiling a new NAND flash memory production
line at its 10-year old plant.
Texas plant is Samsung''s only semiconductor plant outside
South Korea and currently produces only DRAM chips, used
2006 Samsung commenced building the NAND flash memory,
which uses advanced 12-inch wafers, at the same plant.
Flash memory is used in gadgets such as music players,
cell phones and digital cameras.
announcement was the first disclosure by Samsung as to
the total investment at its NAND facility, which will
produce flash memory. Samsung''s NAND production line would
begin operations in the second half of 2007, and output
will be ramped up to 60,000 wafers per month by 2008.
prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips due
to increased supply have hit memory chipmakers, though
NAND prices recently bottomed out and demand for the chips
is the world leader in both DRAM and NAND. Hynix Semiconductor
Inc is ranked second in DRAM production while Japan''s
Toshiba Corp is the second-largest NAND maker.
is expected to switch more capacity from DRAM to higher-margin
NAND chips, while Toshiba Corp, which makes NAND, also
plans to speed up its flash memory expansion plans and
boost production capacity by 70 per cent by mid-2008.
Samsung continues to focus on DRAM it has to boost its
NAND production given Toshiba''s aggressiveness.
expect NAND chips to enable chipmakers to recoup in the
second half of the year, as prices have rebounded recently
due to expected global capacity constraints to meet demand
from new applications, notably Apple''s computers powered
by flash memory chips.