Samsung Electronics said it has begun construction of a new assembly line to expand its production of NAND flash memory, as the Covid-19 pandemic boosts demand for equipment such as PCs and servers used in remote working.
Construction on the new line began in May at Samsung’s Pyeongtaek plant, within a two-hour drive from Seoul, the company said on Monday.
Production of V-NAND flash memory is set to begin in the second half of next year, Samsung said.
“The new investment reaffirms our commitment to sustain undisputed leadership in memory technologies, even in uncertain times,” said Cheol Choi, Samsung Electronics’ executive vice president of memory global sales and marketing.
The additional capacity is also aimed at helping meet demand for 5G devices, even as next-generation networks face rollout delays due to the pandemic.
Samsung said it is also targeting mid- to long-term demand generated by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Industry watchers said Samsung was likely to be investing between 7 trillion won (£4.5bn) and 8 trillion won in the plant, Reuters reported.
Samsung built the Pyeongtaek plant in 2015 and has been producing NAND flash there since 2017.
The company has been the world’s biggest NAND flash memory manufacturer since 2002 and began producing its 100-layer V-NAND, the industry’s first, in August 2019.
It is currently also expanding its second plant in Xian, China with a line that is due to begin production in the first half of 2021.
South Korea’s chip exports for May rose by 7.1 percent year-on-year as remote working and schooling boosted server and PC demand and Chinese PC makers recovered production post-lockdown.
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