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Samsung Electronics is to spend $2.8 billion on a new chip plant and research facilities. The company said chip production facility Line 10 would initially make 128MB, 256MB and Rambus chips. Situated in Hwasung-gun, Kyonggi Province in Korea on a one million square metre site, it will be capable of making 32,000 eight-inch wafer starts per month. Samsung will spend around $1.8 billion on Line 10 by the first quarter of 2001, with the first phase due to open in September. At that time, the company said it expected the plant to be turning out 16,000 wafer starts per month. The move is part of plans to invest $2.2 billion in factory building. The plant adds to Samsung's existing 1.3 million square metre operation in Kiheung, and is the South Korean company's tenth production line. Samsung plans to build a further seven. Samsung semiconductor business president and CEO Y.W. Lee said: "Samsung's semiconductor operations will maintain a six month to one year lead in the industry for new product development. "We will complete development of 0.12-micron processing technology within one year and the 0.10-micron design rule by 2001." Samsung Electronics Semiconductor expects sales to reach $9.3 billion in 1999, with memory accounting for $6 billion. The company also said it would spend $600,000 on its research department in 2000, which would include hiring an extra 400 staff. ® See also Korean IT sector has a bumper 1999 IBM, Samsung square up for Compaq Alpha contract Samsung to double Rambus production

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