Feeds

Samsung slams down $1.9bn for mobile chip fab

Names top chip-head CEO

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Memory and processor chip maker Samsung Electronics is plunking down 2.25 trillion Korean won (about $1.9bn) to beef up its chip-making capacity, and rumors are doing the rounds that it has tapped the head of its semiconductor ops to be the new CEO of the company.

In a brief statement, Samsung said that its management committee had authorized the $1.9bn investment, which will be used to buy equipment for a new production line that will etch chips using 20 nanometer and 14 nanometer processes onto 300 millimeter silicon wafers.

The new line, which will be built out in phases between now and 2014, will be used to make chips for smartphones and other mobile devices, although Samsung did not elaborate on what these might be. (And officially, Apple has never confirmed that Samsung makes the processors inside iPhones and iPads.)

Samsung just opened up a $10bn wafer baker in South Korea last September and in April of this year said it would shell out $7bn over the next several years for a 10 nanometer NAND flash facility in Xi'an, China. The company has spent $8.7bn since 1996 establishing a fab in Austin, Texas, and ramping it up. The speculation in April was that after a $3.6bn upgrade to the Austin facility in March 2010, Samsung was pondering a move into the nascent ARM server chip arena.

Concurrent with the investment in the new line, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are both reporting that Kwon Oh-hyun, the executive who has run Samsung's chip operations for the past four years and who took over its display biz this year, was suddenly and unexpectedly named the new CEO at the consumer electronics and chip maker. Kwon will retain control over the Samsung components business and will also run corporate-wide operations, and Samsung was at pains to explain that it will continue to keep its components and electronics businesses separate so as to not make its chip customers jumpy.

Kwon replaces Choi Geesung, who has been CEO of the 165 trillion Korean won company (that's about $139bn) since the end of 2009. Choi, who built up Samsung's TV business to topple Japanese rival Sony from the dominant position, has been named head of Samsung Group's corporate strategy, working directly with chairman Lee Kun-hee. The Financial Times reports that Choi was asked to move into the corporate strategy position by Lee when the executive who had been in charge of overall strategy for the group had to leave to health reasons. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.