DigiTimes: Samsung reportedly delays new logic fab construction
Samsung Electronics is likely to put off the construction of a new logic fabrication facility dubbed Line-17, due to the possibility of losing a portion of orders for Apple’s next-generation application chips, according to industry sources.
Samsung is looking to build its line-17 system semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, with total investment estimated at KRW4-6 trillion (US$3.7-5.5 billion). The new facility is scheduled to kick off volume production in the first quarter of 2014, and bring in an additional 80,000 12-inch wafers in capacity per month, the sources revealed.
However, Samsung will no longer be the sole supplier of Apple-designed chips that power the iPhone and iPad devices, the sources indicated. The anticipated drop in orders from Apple has prompted Samsung to consider slowing the pace of its logic-IC capacity expansion, the sources said.
TSMC with its 20nm process technology will likely secure its first chip orders from Apple, the sources believe. TSMC is scheduled to enter trial production on its 20nm process node in early 2013, the sources said.
Samsung in June 2012 announced plans to build a new fabrication line in Hwaseong, with the construction scheduled to complete by the end of 2013. The new fab would mainly produce highly advanced mobile application processors on 12-inch wafers at 20nm and 14nm process nodes, according to Samsung.
The new fabrication line will be Samsung’s third system LSI fab, targeting IC solutions for smartphones and other mobile devices, the company said.