Samsung Electronics will increase investment at its chip factory in China by $8 billion to enhance manufacturing of NAND flash memory chips.
The South Korean group’s investment comes as the memory market is expected to rebound next year because of limited supplies and rising demand for 5G devices and 5G networks, Reuters reported.
There are now four million 5G connections globally as of the third quarter of 2019, according to data based from Ovum.
There are now 50 commercial 5G networks globally, which adhere to 3GPP standards. That number is expected to increase to 67 5G commercial networks by the end of 2019.
Samsung in NAND business
Samsung is the world’s largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, which can hold data permanently and are found in mobile devices, memory cards, USB flash drives and solid-state drives.
Samsung in 2017 announced that it would invest $7 billion over three years in its Xi’an plant that produces NAND flash memory chips.
Those investment phases follow an earlier $10.8 billion investment into a testing and packaging plant in Xi’an. Samsung declined to comment.
Samsung’s rivals in NAND flash memory include Korea’s SK Hynix, U.S.-based Micron Technology, and Toshiba.
Several Chinese companies have attempted to enter the memory sector, though none has been successful enough to compete with overseas rivals.
Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) recently announced it would begin mass producing 64-layer 3D NAND chips.
TrendForce, a research firm, said NAND flash industrial revenue grew 15 percent in total bit shipment in Q3 2019 due to the seasonality-driven demand for products shipments and the additional product shipment made available in preparation for U.S. tariffs. NAND flash industrial revenue rose 10.2 percent to $11.9 billion.
Samsung is decreasing its Line 12 2D NAND products. Samsung’s second semiconductor plant in Xian will start manufacturing in H1 2020, while its second Pyeongtae-based memory fab is projected to begin operation in H2 2020.
Micron announced the opening of its new fab in Singapore in August, providing additional support to its effort to adopt new architecture for NAND flash products. There has been no significant change in production capacity for Micron’s other NAND flash production facilities, such as its other Singapore- and Manassas-based plants.