Samsung to invest 133 billion won in system semiconductor

System LSI invests 133 trillion won in system semiconductor research and development (R & D) and production facilities expansion by 2030 for IP and production capacity expansion of foundry business. It also decided to hire 15,000 professional workers.

Samsung Electronics (CEO Kim Ki-nam, Kim Hyun-suk, and Go Dong-jin) announced this plan as part of ‘Semiconductor Vision 2030’, which aims to achieve not only memory but also global system semiconductor field.

Looking at the detailed plans, we will invest 73 trillion won in R & D and 60 trillion won in production facilities. Samsung Electronics’ system semiconductors division is the foundry division and system LSI division. The system LSI division will diversify its product group, and the foundry division will focus on process development and production facilities expansion.

▲Samsung’s 5G modem solution ./ Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics announced that it will select four new growth businesses such as artificial intelligence (AI), fifth generation (5G) mobile communication, bio, and electric parts last year and intensively nurture them. Three technologies, except bio, can not be implemented without semiconductors.

For the system LSI division, it is easy to expand the business area based on existing product groups such as application processor (AP) and image sensor (CIS). Since the announcement of the plan to nurture a new growth business, the System LSI division has launched a variety of products including AI, 5G mobile communication, and field-use semiconductors. We have also started developing semiconductors that are not in the existing product line.

AP ‘s EXINOS 9280 has been equipped with an AI – only neural network processing unit (NPU), and the 5G mobile communication semiconductors have been extended with modem, envelope tracking and wireless communication (RF) transceivers. It also created the semiconductor platform “Infinosuto” for infotainment.

An industry observer said, “The system LSI division of Samsung Electronics puts the service to external companies when the number of R & D projects is increased,” and added that existing strengths such as V2X, SoC for vision, and 5G mobile communication chip for base stations There is enough multiplication in the product family that can utilize. “

The foundry division is also expected to diversify its portfolio of fair assets (IP) by increasing R & D. First place in the foundry industry When comparing the TSMC and Samsung Electronics foundry divisions, IP is the most pointed out. Even if you want to leave production, you do not have the right IP.

Since its separation in 2017, the Samsung Electronics foundry division has been diversifying its IP with embedded MRAM (eMRAM) and fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI). It is also known to produce products that do not have production power such as LiDAR chips and automotive AI chips.

▲Samsung Electronics semiconductor production line scene ./ Samsung Electronics

Production facilities, which were another factor for catching ankles, will also be expanded. Samsung Electronics (System LSI Division), small and large fabless companies have been avoided because of the sudden increase in the volume of orders, often unable to properly respond to orders from other companies.

7-nano and other high-tech process production is not much. In the past year, TSMC’s wafer throughput has exceeded 12 million wafers by 12-inch wafers, but Samsung’s annual wafer throughput is only 3 million wafers.

The Mars EUV line, which is completed next year, will not significantly increase wafer throughput because only EUV-related processes are in progress. Up until now, we have only made some switch investments in old production lines, but we have to secure new production lines given the fact that the foundry business should have various processes.

Samsung Electronics decided to invest in production facilities at 60 trillion won, and it is enough to make two more fabs in Pyeongtaek 1 plant.

The industry expects that the foundry production line is likely to enter the Pyeongtaek 2 plant immediately. The Pyeongtaek 2 plant is 30 trillion won in size, similar to the first plant, and the Pyeongtaek 1 plant is likely to have two production lines each on the same floor as the first floor, the first floor, the second floor, and the west.

Cheonan package production line is also expected to expand. Samsung Electronics previously assembled package manufacturing and R & D manpower into Cheonan. And a fan-out wafer level package (FoWLP) in Cheonan.

An industry official said, “We know that one of the production lines at Pyeongtaek’s 2 factories is allocated for foundries,” he said. “Depending on the results of the foundry business, the investment scale will vary.”

Samsung Electronics said it will hire 15,000 R & D and manufacturing specialists. Given that Samsung Electronics’ open recruitment is usually in March, it will attract 1,500 people every year starting next year.

Assuming that the sales force and the workforce are in proportion to the total manpower of the DS division, it is estimated that the foundry divisions and the system LSI divisions are all combined to exceed the memory division.

▲Samsung Electronics MPW support process in 2019./ Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics also plans to share technology with domestic system semiconductor ecosystem companies such as fabless and design house. Semiconductor commission production volume standards are also relaxed, and domestic small and medium fabless companies actively support production of small quantity products, and multipurpose wafer (MPW) program is expanded 2-3 times a year per process.

Earlier, Samsung expanded its MPW support to 5nm.

Samsung Electronics said it would take the lead in developing the Korean system semiconductor industry through bold and preemptive investment and win – win cooperation with domestic small and medium – sized companies.