Samsung Begins 20nm Memory Chip Production

Samsung has started operations at a new flash memory chip

line, in a move which could force smaller rivals out of business.

The South Korean firm said that the manufacturing plant near

the capital Seoul, was the industry’s largest and most advanced memory

fabrication facility producing chips with 20 nanometre class processing

technology.

This reduction in size has enabled Samsung to make a huge 50

per cent cost saving which will hopefully be passed on to the consumer.

As well as making them cheaper, the lower line-widths processing technology

will allow for more circuits on a chip, making them smaller, more powerful and

more energy efficient.

Samsung 20nm flash memory chip

Samsung is currently the world’s number one memory chip

maker, in part due to it’s largest customer, Apple. However, with the two

companies fighting legal battles across the globe, that relationship

may change in the coming months and could leave Samsung looking for a new best

friend. Then again, if Samsung can pass on the savings to its customers, it’s

unlikely Apple will be going anywhere.

While Samsung is competing against companies like

fellow-South Korean Hynix Semiconductor Inc and Japan’s

Elpida Memory Inc and Taiwan’s

Powerchip, this move is set to have a much bigger effect on smaller chip

makers.

These could be squeezed out of the market as falling prices,

worsening margins and weak demand combine to make it tough for them to invest

in expensive facility upgrades.

Samsung invested 12 trillion won (£6.5 billion) in

construction of the new facility in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, since it started construction in May

last year.

With the demand for smartphones and tablets unlikely to

abate in the coming years, cheaper flash memory like this could mean reduced

prices for manufacturers which will hopefully trickle down to us consumers.

Source: Reuters