Samsung is poised to invest $116 billion in its wafer foundry business over the next decade and will create more than 15,000 jobs in a bid to become the world’s leading chip maker. Almost half of the $100 billion-plus investment will go to research and development. TSMC currently has the largest share of the contract market, while Samsung now has an 18 per cent market share (and also makes its own chips, such as Exynos).
The $116 billion investment will be split into two parts, with $64 billion to be spent on research and development, while the remaining $69 billion will be spent on plant and facilities. Samsung also plans to create 15,000 jobs in research and development and manufacturing.
Yoon Jong Shik, Executive Vice President of Samsung’s Contract Business, said at a forum in Seoul recently:
“A new market is taking shape. Some companies that have no previous experience in chip design, such as Google, Amazon and Alibaba, are trying to design chips according to their own philosophy to improve service. I think this will be a major breakthrough for our non-memory chip business. ”
Samsung is holding contract workshops in different places and talking to different customers about cooperation. Recently, Samsung announced that it would produce Baidu’s Kunlun AI chip with a 16nm process plus I-Cube intermediary packaging technology. Samsung will also produce a 5G SnapDragon chip for Qualcomm and is said to have taken orders for some of the NVIDIA 7nm GPUs.
The $116 billion sounds like a lot, but considering it’s a 12-year design, Samsung will invest an average of $9.6 billion a year. But $9.6 billion a year isn’t much. Intel spent $16 billion this year, compared with TSMC’s guidance spending of $14 billion and spends more than $3 billion a year on research and development. So it’s still unknown whether Samsung can be a big deal in the chip world.