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Economy
Nov 25, 2021

Samsung to build chip factory in Texas

Foreign Affairs News Correspondent
John Cornyn, left, a U.S. senator from Texas, state Gov. Greg Abbott and Kim Ki-nam, CEO of Samsung's semiconductor business, attend a press conference on Nov. 23 in Austin, Texas.
John Cornyn, left, a U.S. senator from Texas, state Gov. Greg Abbott and Kim Ki-nam, CEO of Samsung’s semiconductor business, attend a press conference on Nov. 23 in Austin, Texas.

Samsung said it plans to build a US $17 billion semiconductor factory outside of Austin, Texas, amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, cars and other electronic devices.

The South Korean chipmaker said it will break ground on the advanced semiconductor fab site in Taylor, near Austin, in the first half of 2022, targeting the second half of 2024 to have the facility operational. It is Samsung’s largest U.S. investment, according to the company.

Samsung had previously indicated it was exploring sites in Texas, Arizona and New York for a possible new U.S. chip plant. It has had a chip fabrication plant in Austin, Texas, since the late 1990s. But most of its manufacturing centers are in Asia.

The new facility will boost production of high-tech chips used for 5G mobile communications, advanced computing and artificial intelligence, and also improve supply chain resilience.

Samsung already runs a foundry chip factory in Austin, producing 14-nanometer semiconductors for a range of clients including Tesla. Samsung is the world’s second-largest foundry chipmaker, making customized semiconductors for other companies.


The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen outside the Samsung Electronics Seocho building in Seoul, South Korea, AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

“This is the largest foreign direct investment in the state of Texas, ever,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in announcing the project Tuesday.

“We are grateful to the Biden Administration for creating an environment that supports companies like Samsung as we work to expand leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.,” Kim Ki-nam, the CEO of Samsung’s semiconductor business, said in a statement.

After the Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s visit to the U.S., meeting high-ranking White House officials, lawmakers and business leaders, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and in viceversa the US trade secretary was in Seoul executives of South Korean companies.

Meanwhile, Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho, said it will invest $150 billion globally over the next decade in developing its line of memory chips.

Intel earlier this year announced plans to invest $20 billion in two new factories in Arizona.