Samsung commits to $356 billion of investment over 5 years
Samsung Electronics and related companies will invest 450 trillion won ($356 billion) over the course of the next five years on chips, biopharmaceuticals, advanced networks and artificial intelligence.
The investment total is up 30 percent from the previous five years, while 80 percent of the total will be committed to investments within Korea.
Suwon, Gyeonggi-based Samsung Electronics, which is Korea's largest company, did not break down where exactly the funds would be going, though based on the announcement and statements by the company, much of it will be going to Samsung Electronics itself. The company is related by various levels of shareholding to dozens of other companies active in a wide range of businesses.
Samsung Electronics did say that it would like to become a leader in the foundry business, where it makes chips for others under contract using designs from the clients.
"If Samsung Foundry grows into the world's largest, its economic effect will be equivalent to the creation of a new company that is bigger than the existing Samsung Electronics," the company said in a statement.
Samsung Electronics trails behind Qualcomm, Intel and Nvidia in chip design and behind TSMC in foundry, although it claims dominance in memory chips, like dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash chips.
The chipmaker cited smartphone application processors, modems for 5G and 6G networks and high-resolution image sensors as core areas to receive higher investment.
Samsung Electronics vowed in its statement to quickly begin commercial production of 3-nanometer chips, currently the most advanced in terms of transistor density.
TSMC, which is primarily a foundry company, has a particularly aggressive capital expenditure plan, saying it will be investing more than $40 billion in 2022 alone.
The bio industry is another focus for Samsung Electronics, which owns 31.49 percent of Samsung Biologics, a biosimilar company.
Under the investment plan, Samsung Biologics will build its fifth and sixth plants in a bid to solidify its standing as the world's largest contract manufacturer of biosimilars in terms of production amount.
Samsung Electronics underscored the strategic importance of establishing stable supplies of semiconductors and bio products.
"The pandemic turned bio into a national security asset," the company said in a statement, "Locating chip and bio supply chains in Korea has more significant strategic implications than just shown in the numbers."
In high-tech areas, Samsung Electronics aims to take the development of telecommunication networks and artificial intelligence to a new level.
The company plans to recruit more people for its AI research centers in seven regions, including Korea, United States, Britain and Canada.
Research on 6G will take center stage in telecommunication network investment as the company looks to demonstrate next-generation network connectivity by 2030 aligned with the Korean government's plan.
It released a white paper on 6G in 2020.
The recent proposal follows an announcement in 2021, where Samsung Electronics committed 240 trillion won to key areas over three years.
Shares of Samsung Electronics fell 2.06 percent in trading Tuesday to close at 66,500 won.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]