Samsung Electronics will invest $116 billion in non-memory chips through 2030, to cut its reliance on the volatile memory chip market and develop chips to power self-driving cars and AI-enabled devices.
With the investment, the South Korean firm hopes to challenge bigger rivals - Taiwan’s TSMC in contract chip manufacturing and San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc in mobile processing chips - as the memory chip market contracts sharply after years of an unprecedented boom.
Samsung said on Wednesday its 133 trillion won ($116 billion) spending will comprise of 73 trillion won for domestic R&D and 60 trillion won for production infrastructure.
“The investment plan is expected to help the company to reach its goal of becoming the world leader in not only memory semiconductors but also logic chips by 2030,” it said in a statement.
The world’s top smartphone maker decided this week to delay the launch of its widely anticipated foldable phone after several reviewers discovered problems with the display.
Samsung said the chip investment will create 15,000 jobs.
South Korea, the world’s biggest producer of memory chips thanks to Samsung and domestic rival SK Hynix Inc, also wants to reduce its reliance on memory chip sales to smoothen volatile export trends.
The government is preparing its own support program for the non-memory chip sector.
Samsung is the world's second player in the contract chip manufacturing sector, trailing market champion Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), according to industry tracker TrendForce.
Samsung also produces processor chips for mobile phones in a market dominated by the likes of Qualcomm and Intel.