Samsung is constructing a new research and development (R&D) facility dedicated to semiconductor chips. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new building earlier today. Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who was granted a presidential pardon last week, was present at the event. He was accompanied by more than 100 other company executives and employees, including System LSI Division Manager Park Yong-in and Foundry Division Manager Choi Si-young.
The new state-of-the-art semiconductor R&D facility is located at Samsung’s Giheung Campus in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province of South Korea. It is spread across 109,000 square meters and will see an estimated investment of about 20 trillion won (around $15 billion). The company expects the construction of the complex to be complete by 2028. At least one R&D line may be operational by mid-2025, though.
Samsung plans to work on the next-gen semiconductor technology and research at this complex. It will facilitate research on all kinds of semiconductor chips and technology, including memory, fabless system semiconductors, and foundry. The company certainly needs to up its foundry game. Its arch-rival TSMC has been running away with all its major clients lately. And Samsung itself is to blame for this. It has struggled with yield rates and thermal management and power efficiency issues.
“We plan to create a virtuous cycle structure that leads to organizational growth through various educational opportunities where excellent R&D personnel can gather and grow on their own,” said Kye-hyun Kye, the head of Samsung’s Device Solutions (DS) division.
Samsung begins work on improving its semiconductor tech as Lee assumes power
This is likely the first big decision from Samsung since Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong took control of the conglomerate. The de-facto leader has been unable to take up any formal role at the company for the past few years. He has been out on parole since August last year after spending 18 months in prison, serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a 2017 bribery case. Newly elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol last week granted him a presidential pardon, allowing him to work and move abroad freely.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Lee visited Samsung’s Hwaseong Campus and met DS division executives and employees. He exchanged opinions and listened to the suggestions of employees. Lee discussed major issues and risks surrounding the semiconductor industry. The Samsung Vice Chairman also discussed ways to improve the work culture at the company. He talked about the importance of promoting challenges and innovation for organizational growth.