Samsung is doubling down on its factory in Hwaesong, South Korea. We mean that almost literally. Reuters reported yesterday that the company has nearly doubled the size of a contract related to that line.
The report said this new contract brings the project’s total cost up to 1.46 trillion won ($1.29 billion). There are actually several 'Samsungs' involved with the contract: the Hwaesong plant will manufacture semiconductors for Samsung Electronics, but construction is being managed by Samsung C&T, both of which are part of the larger Samsung Group.
That relationship would be enough to make at least some of the Lannisters proud. (Especially the pair that has the same number of illegitimate children as it does hands.) The original contract for the work in Hwaesong was signed in September 2018 for 723 billion won; 739 billion more was added on March 29. Construction on the project is expected to end by April 2020.
The new contract was announced shortly after Samsung issued an unprecedented warning to investors at least partly because of the DRAM market’s continued decline. Still, the company can’t afford to rest on its laurels as companies like Micron strive to end its tenure atop the memory throne.
Hence the recent announcements of:
- The first LPDDR5 SDRAM module
- The first embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) product
- The first HBM2E-compliant product
- The first third-generation, 10nm-class (1z-nm) 8Gb DDR4 DRAM
And now the might-as-well-be-doubled investment in the Hwaesong semiconductor production line. Samsung might be losing its grip on some of its key markets, but it’s not willing to let go yet, no matter how many Stark boys it has to throw from a tower. Or in this case, won it must invest to make sure these short-term setbacks don’t have lasting effects.