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Samsung’s new chip leader likely to put SoC, foundry businesses first

Kim Ki-nam, chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics’ devices solutions business, is expected to discuss measures to find new profit sources, pivoting on non-memory and foundry businesses, for the company’s most lucrative unit at an upcoming strategy meeting, according to the industry on Sunday.

Kim is scheduled to hold the “Global Strategy Meeting” on Tuesday, a twice-yearly meeting held in June and December at the company to set new strategies and plans for the upcoming year.

Kim was appointed CEO of the Samsung devices solutions Division on Oct. 31 to replace former Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun. 
Device Solutions Division CEO Kim Ki-nam (Samsung Electronics)
Device Solutions Division CEO Kim Ki-nam (Samsung Electronics)

According to industry sources, Kim is likely to demand measures to reinforce the company’s non-memory and foundry businesses that have been weaker than its memory business.

“Samsung seems to be increasing investments in the non-memory business, considering more projects being launched with external experts and chip intellectual property companies,” a source at a global chip IP company told The Korea Herald.

“Samsung is trying to increase diversity of its System on Chip products that will determine the fate of the company after the current memory chip boom ends.”

Development of SoC products tailored for Samsung’s mobile devices and home appliances equipped with artificial intelligence and Internet of Things algorithms is the foremost task of the tech titan’s chipmaking unit, as it aims to take the lead in the global AI and IoT markets.

Samsung also aims to take over the top spot in the foundry market from China’s TSMC.

“Since the company separated the foundry business as an independent unit in the first half of this year, it has been expanding marketing efforts to attract global customers,” a Samsung official said. “The foundry business is considered a new growth engine as demand for low- and mid-end chips rises from various industries.”

Meanwhile, Samsung declined to officially comment on agendas of the upcoming meeting, citing the importance of the discussion on new strategies.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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