Samsung's $15 Billion R&D Complex to Overcome Limits of Semiconductor Scalingby Anton Shilov on August 19, 2022 9:00 AM EST
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- Samsung Foundry
Samsung on Friday broke ground for a new semiconductor research and development complex which will design new fabrication processes for memory and logic, as well as conduct fundamental research of next-generation technologies and materials. The company plans to invest KRW 20 trillion ($15 billion) in the new R&D facility by 2028.
To make more competitive logic and memory chips, companies like Samsung have to innovate across many directions, which includes new materials (for fins, for gates, for contacts, for dielectrics, just to name a few), transistor architecture, manufacturing technologies, and design of actual devices. In many cases, companies physically separate fundamental research and development of actual process technologies, but the new R&D center will conduct operations across virtually all fronts except device design.
The new facility will handle advanced research on next-generation transistors and fabrication processes for memory and logic chips as well as seek for new technologies to 'overcome the limits of semiconductor scaling.' Essentially, this means researching new materials and manufacturing techniques as well as developing actual production nodes. Given that all of these R&D operations require large scale nowadays, it is not particularly surprising that it will require Samsung to invest $15 billion in the center over the next six years.
Spreading fundamental research and applied development operations across different locations helps with bringing new talent onboard (e.g., people with academia background may be unwilling to relocate too far away from their current homes), but also creates discrepancy within one company as feedback from different departments gets slower. Ideally, scientists doing pathfinding and research, developers designing new production nodes, fab engineers, and device developers should work together on a site and get feedback from each other. But while Samsung's new R&D hub is not meant for this, it will still bring scientists and node developers together, which is a big deal.
The new R&D center will be located at Samsung's campus near Giheung, South Korea, and will be occupy around 109,000 m2 (~20 football fields). To put the number into a more relevant context, Apple's corporate headquarters — Apple Park — occupies around 259,000 m2 and houses over 12,000 of employees that do everything from management to research to product development.
The new R&D facility will work in concert with Samsung's existing R&D line in Hwaseong (which works on memory, system LSI, and foundry technologies) and the company's production complex in Pyeongtaek that can produce both DRAM (using 10nm-class technologies) and logic chips (using 5nm-class and thinner nodes). It will also be Samsung's 12th semiconductor R&D center. Meanwhile, this will be the company's first semiconductor R&D facility of this scale.
Three years ago Samsung announced plans to spend KRW 133 trillion ($100 billion today, $115 billion in 2019) on semiconductor R&D by 2030. The company allocated KRW 73 trillion ($54.6 billion) on R&D operations in South Korea, so investing $15 billion in a single research and development facility aligns perfectly with this plan.
"Our new state-of-the-art R&D complex will become a hub for innovation where the best research talent from around the world can come and grow together," said President Kye Hyun Kyung, who also heads the Device Solutions (DS) Division. "We expect this new beginning will lay the foundation for sustainable growth of our semiconductor business."
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lucaB75 - Saturday, August 20, 2022 - linkyou are totally right. that s why USA should de-escalate, foster on-shoring, invest r&d and nurture alliance (nurture not exploit like today). we will soon enter a 3rd WW from a weak position, entirely caused by idiots at the White House
Einy0 - Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - linkYou are right, we should have embraced the dictator who tried to steal back an election and led a coup against the voted representation of the entire country. Why do conservatives and liberals both blame everything on the White House when they are not in power? Congress has by far the most power over the United States. The Commander in Chief can't declare war without their approval, he or she can't even set a budget without their approval. Meanwhile, the silent majority sits wondering when the two distant sides will come together and work toward the common good.
michael2k - Saturday, August 20, 2022 - linkIt’s more worrisome that they have a stealth bomber.
Tams80 - Saturday, August 20, 2022 - linkChina have widespread corruption as well. While the comparative level is likely much less than Russia's, it is compounded by a need to save face.
Equipment might not exist or be in a good state not because someone has sold it, but because the targets weren't realistic and achievable. To tell a superior that would at best prevent promotion (in whatever organisation and the CCP), so subordinates simply lie and the superiors know no better.
Then there's China's fragile economy and it's vulnerable borders. It has pretty much no neighbours who don't have issues with it.
sharath.naik - Sunday, August 28, 2022 - linkChina has occupied territory belonging to its neighbors. This is not 1900s this was in 2000s, and said they will ignore the international court, because the international countries cannot make them. And you think China is not a bully? Russia at least was giving a reason, China is literally going because we can.
Also China's rise is not due to some brilliant government work but because US and EU propped them up since the late 1960s, moving manufacturing into China.
lancedd - Thursday, October 6, 2022 - linkBrought to you by the country which hasn't won a war in 44 attempts in 70 years of trying. Sorry, correction, you beat Grenada.
FunBunny2 - Saturday, August 20, 2022 - linkLeMay tried that gag in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Worked out just peachy.
sharath.naik - Sunday, September 11, 2022 - linkAt this point the whole of the world will join in if the North attacks. There is too much at stake.
webdoctors - Friday, August 19, 2022 - linkHonestly not clear which country is more stable, but I think China is more visionary than N. Korea. I know the bar is pretty low but Taiwan is in a much better position in that respect than S. Korea. Seoul is almost on the border! Also N. Korea has almost nothing to lose unlike China.
Lodix - Friday, August 19, 2022 - linkNice! What other sizes have the other R&D from Samsung?