South Korea chipmaker Samsung Electronics on Tuesday announced plans to pump
more than $3 billion into its specialized system chips operations over the
next five years.
Samsung, which makes DRAM, SRAM and flash memory chips, said the increased
investment into its nonmemory chip operations are for system SLI, technology
that allows more transistors on a chip for use in digital television sets
and home electronic appliances.
Samsung currently trails rivals Texas Instruments
in the chipmaking sector but, with the new
investment, the company is projecting system LSI (large scale integration)
sales would exceed $1.8 billion this year, up from $1.4 billion in 2001. By
2007, Samsung expects system LSI operation sales to reach $7 billion.
The company, known primarily as a manufacturer of DVD players, TVs, digital
cameras, PCs and color monitors, also announced plans to establish research
and development centers in the U.S. and Europe, a move aimed at
strengthening its nonmemory chip business.
System LSI, which refers to the placement of thousands of electronic
components on a single integrated circuit, is a lucrative business within
the semiconductor group and companies like TI and Intel have taken the lead
to aggressively pounce on the market for nonmemory chips.
In a statement, Samsung said it would hire experts globally to bump up its
research staff to 5,000 by 2007. The company’s research workforce now
stands at 2,000.