Samsung mulls adding NAND memory chip production in China
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Samsung mulls adding NAND memory chip production in China

SOUTH KOREAN tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. may add NAND memory chip production capacity at its manufacturing base in China, the company said earlier this week.

The move would help the firm – the world’s biggest memory chipmaker by sales – to meet demand amid an industry-wide boom that will likely fuel record sales for memory chip suppliers.

Samsung is in advanced talks with Chinese authorities to add the capacity in Xi’an, Reuters reports, with construction potentially starting by the end of the year.

“Samsung Electronics is considering various investment options to address the NAND flash market, including Xi’an, China, but nothing has been decided yet,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The firm did not add details about the potential scale of investment.

Samsung has invested US$7 billion in the Xi’an facility to make 3D NAND memory chips.

The price of memory chips, used for high-end data storage products on electronic devices, such as smartphones, personal computers and data servers, has risen in recent months as suppliers struggle to keep up with demand.

Researcher IHS expects this year’s memory industry revenue to jump 32 percent to a record US$104 billion.

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Samsung has  been boosting investment in 3D NAND. The company is expecting to start production at a 15.6 trillion (US$13.92 billion) 3D NAND plant in South Korea in the second half of 2017.

However, analysts estimate output from the new facility likely will not be enough to alleviate supply shortages for 2017.