Fri, Jun 08, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Samsung to invest US$1.9bn in new semiconductor line

AFP, SEOUL

An undated handout file photo released by Samsung on May 3 shows the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.

Photo: EPA

Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s largest memory chipmaker, yesterday said it would invest about 2.25 trillion won (US$1.9 billion) to build a new non-memory chip line to address booming demand for mobile processors.

The company said the new line, to be built by the end of next year in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, would mainly produce advanced mobile application processors.

It will help meet the expanding demand for smart mobile solutions, Samsung said in a statement.

Samsung said in January it would spend a total of 25 trillion won in capital expenditure this year, with 15 trillion won going to its chip business.

Market research firm Gartner forecasts that global demand for system semiconductor chips for use in smartphones and tablets would grow from US$23.4 billion last year to US$59.4 billion in 2016.

Samsung yesterday also vowed to press ahead with the US launch of its newest smartphone this month, despite a fresh lawsuit filed by rival Apple Inc seeking to block the cutting-edge model.

Apple has asked a court for the Northern District of California in San Jose to ban sales of the Galaxy S III on grounds of patent infringement, Samsung said.

“Samsung believes Apple’s request is without merit,” the South Korean firm said in a statement. “We will vigorously oppose the request and demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive.”

The Galaxy S III has so far been launched in 28 countries, mainly in Europe and the Middle East. It was launched in China yesterday and will be available in 145 nations by next month.

Samsung has not given an exact date for the phone’s US launch, but says it will be “later this month.”

Samsung, the world’s biggest technology firm, shipped 44.5 million smartphones in the first quarter, exceeding the 35.1 million units shipped by Apple, market researcher Strategy Analytics said in April.

It said the South Korean firm also overtook Nokia as the biggest maker of all types of mobile phone in the same period.

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