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Samsung to start running new production line for 3-D NAND this year

[THE INVESTOR] Tech giant Samsung Electronics is gearing up to fully operate a production line for 3-D NAND flash memory at its plant in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province, according to news reports on Sept. 12.

Samsung is said to have sealed contracts with local manufacturing firms to install processing equipment and tools for 3-D NAND flash memory chips at the tech giant’s chip production line, dubbed Line 17 Phase 2, in the city.

An official from one of Samsung’s contract firms was quoted by Yonhap News Agency saying that it “made a verbal contract,” and “it would take a month to build the equipment and tools at the line.”

Samsung Electronics’ Line 17 at chip manufacturing complex
Samsung Electronics’ Line 17 at chip manufacturing complex

Considering the one-month period to build the equipment and tools, it is expected that the Line 17 facility will likely be in full operation around the end of this year.

The tech firm has another line up and running to produce DRAM chips at the Hwaseong manufacturing complex.

Samsung has reportedly invested 2.5 trillion won (US$2.26 billion) to build the chip production line in a bid to meet the increasing demand for 3-D NAND flash memory chip, which stacks storage cells vertically, compared to conventional planar memory chips.

Many of high-end super slim laptops including those produced by Apple of the US and Samsung have adopted solid state drive storage products built on 3-D NAND chips.

Smartphone makers are also increasingly employing 3-D NAND memory chips, which, unlike DRAM chips, do not lose stored data when the power is off.

With the increasing deployment of NAND memory chips, local chip equipment providers have recently seen their profits greatly improve.

Technology Engine of Science saw its revenue and operating profit increase 47 percent and 110 percent, respectively, to 8.07 billion won and 16.4 billion won.

Wafer process tool provider Eugene Tech’s operating profit in the first half more than doubled to 26.5 billion won from a year ago.

By Kim Young-won (