Samsung Electronics may want to increase its share of the market of computer memory as it is planning to expand DRAM production capacity, a media report claims. The expansion will unlikely negatively affect prices of dynamic random access memory in the second half of the year, but the fact that Samsung plans an expansion already looks alarming.
Samsung’s Line-17 fab in Hwaseong, South Korea, is capable of producing logic, DRAM and NAND flash memory. Previously it was believed that 80 thousand of 300mm wafer starts per month at the Line-17 will be used to make all three types of products. Samsung intended to use 40 thousand wafers to produce DRAM, but recent developments on the market caused the company to reconsider its plans and to allocate 60 thousand of wafers for computer memory, reports DigiTimes web-site.
The reported extra output from Samsung is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall industry’s supply and demand during the year. However, the fact that Samsung wants to expand production capacities in order to improve sales and, possibly, market share indicates that the company is willing to take risks. Other makers could follow Samsung and over time DRAM supply could exceed demand again.
Samsung’s Line-17 manufacturing facility (also known as Line S3) will not be one of Samsung’s largest fabs and will process only around 80 thousand wafers per month. It will use 20nm fabrication process to make various chips. The fab will be completed later this year.
Samsung did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: The fact that Samsung decided to boost DRAM production at the Line-17 may not be too alarming for the computer memory industry. What could be disturbing is possible production of DRAM at Samsung’s forthcoming fab in Pyeongtaek, a city south of Seoul. That facility will have much higher capacities and will have an influence on the whole industry.