Samsung Electronics started making investments into second floor of its semiconductor line 1 in Pyeongtaek. Size of investment for the second floor will be bigger than the investment made for the first floor. It is expected that back-end industries such as equipment and material industries will once again enjoy ‘increased demands from Pyeongtaek’. On the other hand, there is a possibility that conditions of memory markets, which have hit their highs, may get worse. Oversupply will become real if Samsung Electronics hurries its investments. However it is expected that there will not be huge effects if Samsung Electronics adjusts speed of its investments according to demands.
According to industries on the 3rd, Samsung Electronics just entered the last step of construction of cleanrooms, which take up about half of the second floor of Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor line 1, and is starting to order equipment from its major partners. First order will be for 3D NAND flash production equipment that corresponds to 10,000 units per month based on wafer input. “We have received ordered as we expected and we expect that orders will come in continuously.” said a representative for an equipment industry.
Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek is a two-storied building. Its first floor and second floor have secured 100,000 and 200,000 units per month based on wafer input respectively. Reason why first floor has lesser production capacity than second floor is because some of its space is used for offices and cafeteria. Second floor is divided into a west area and an east area that are both designated for 100,000 units per month based on wafer input. First stage of investment for second floor will be for the west area and second stage of investment for second floor will be for the east area. It is expected that the west area will be set up with equipment that will produce 70,000 3D NAND flash units and 30,000 DRAM units per month while the east area will be set up with equipment that will produce 100,000 DRAM units. Although Samsung Electronics did not start ordering equipment for producing DRAMs, it is likely that it will start ordering such equipment shortly.

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<Outside view of Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor line 1 in Pyeongtaek Campus >

Trickle down effect is expected on Samsung Electronics’ partners as it starts making investments for the second floor of its new semiconductor plant. Some of its partners are SEMES that specializes in washing and etching equipment, WONIK IPS, TES, and Eugene Tech that specialize in deposition equipment, LotVacuum that specializes in vacuum pumps, PSK that specializes in Asher equipment that removes residues of coating solutions that are left after photolithography process, KC Tech that manufacturers CMP (Chemical Mechanical Polishing) equipment, and Cymechs that supplies wafer transporting equipment to these companies.
Amount of supplies of materials will also increase for companies such as Soulbrain and ENF Tech that supply etchants, DNF and WONIK Materials that supply precursors for deposition and special gases, and Dongjin Semichem that supplies coating solution for photolithography process once production on the second floor starts operating. Shinsung ENG, WONIK Holdings, Hanyang ENG, and KC Tech are also expected to be beneficiaries since there is still work left for construction of cleanrooms and gas pipes.
Although extension of Samsung Electronics’ plant increases expectations for positive performance of back-end industries, some are also worried about possible oversupply of memories. Especially Samsung Electronics’ investments for DRAMs are very important. If Samsung Electronics hurries its investments as it has decided to use most of the second floor for producing DRAMs, experts explain that upward trend of price may convert to downward trend.
“Speed of investment is also important. Equipment industries predict that investments for equipment that corresponds to 200,000 units will take place until end of next year at the earliest and the first half of 2019 at the latest.” said a representative. “Price of a memory will depend on speed of Samsung Electronics’ investments.” This representative also predicted that investments for equipment that will be brought into Samsung Electronics’ plant in Xi’an will start either at the end of 2018 or early 2019 on full-scale.
Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop |