Samsung to build new chip factory in Texas

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Apple’s iPhone X has huge demand for memory chips

The world’s biggest memory chipmaker Samsung has announced plans to build a new chip factory in Texas, creating 2,000 jobs.

It follows Apple’s admission last week that demand for its iPhone X was so high that it will create a shortage of the components.

The chips will be made at the plant being developed by Samsung in Austin, Texas.

It will be integrated into the existing Samsung semiconductor plant on the same site.

Analysts said the Texas investment – which is part of a $17 billion (£13.5bn) expansion – would allow Samsung to maintain its dominance of the global memory chip market.

Global memory chip production capacity was now more than 600 gigabytes per year, according to research firm Gartner. Samsung produces 40% of that, along with another 40% by Toshiba, 18% by Intel and 18% by SK Hynix.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Samsung has been showing off its latest technology for several years

Last week, Apple sent a memo to its contractors indicating that it would “begin using more internally-developed chip technology” in future devices.

Those products include its iPhone and other products.

Analysts have suggested that without the Korean company’s Samsung Galaxy phones, there would be no Apple phone. Samsung makes about 10% of the iPhones.

The North Carolina-based screen manufacturer Kintex will be among the first to see the Samsung power in action, according to TechCrunch.

A joint venture between Samsung and Corning, Kintex will manufacture the flexible screens for the Samsung Galaxy phone.

Bloomberg has reported that the Texas plant will be able to produce both DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips and NAND flash memory.

Last week, the electronics retailer Best Buy said it was seeing a boost in demand for memory chips as smartphones use increasingly more of them.

Samsung said the new Texas plant will be capable of producing 14nm chips in its chips over the next three years.

It is expected to have a capacity of 60,000 wafers per month by 2022.

The plant will have annual production of 140,000 new machines.

“Establishing this next generation operation, coupled with the superfast equipment installation schedule, will propel Samsung semiconductor into even greater heights, as it continues its top spot with global memory supply,” Lee Sang-jae, a senior vice president at Samsung, said in a statement.

The chip factories will continue to run during the construction phase.

It is the latest in a string of announcements about Samsung’s new investments.

The electronics giant has pledged to invest $20bn (£15.6bn) in robotics research in Japan.

In July, Samsung unveiled a machine that generates temporary tattoo-like patterns on the skin, which can be scanned to identify users.

It also announced plans to build a new factory in Australia that will develop next-generation displays for smartphones.

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