Ask anyone what one of the most widely used, prolific consumer electronic is, and they’ll unanimously answer, “smartphones.” They are used by people in the most remote places in the world, are given to children practically before they can talk, and have changed the world as we know it.
What the average person might not know, however, is that these smartphones are made possible by semiconductors, which are the backbone of the phones’ processors. There are close to a billion smartphones in use today, each of which relies on a semiconductor.
As a result, the semiconductor industry is very big and very important. Its second largest player—Samsung, which according to this article has “gradually been encroaching on Intel’s dominant position,”—realizes this importance, and its potential. After all, while Samsung hasn’t been able to compete with Apple in the sale of smartphones, Samsung provides Apple with the iPhone’s semiconductors.
As a result, Samsung has recently announced the plan to build a $14 billion complex dedicated to the manufacturing of these semiconductors. It’s been reported that the factory will be the size of 400 soccer fields—or the size of two of their largest semiconductor factories put together—and will officially begin operation in 2017.
Realizing their position as a semiconductor leader, and the increased global demand for these products, Samsung clearly thinks this is the best area to invest.
As we at Red River Precision work with clients in the semiconductor industry, manufacturing critical parts for them, we wonder how this plan will affect the industry and the overall electronics market—and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.