Samsung to build flash memory chip line

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Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, said on Tuesday that it would build a new production line in China for flash memory chips used in tablets and smartphones.

Samsung plans to start construction of the NAND flash chip plant in 2012 for operation the following year if the South Korean government approves it.

South Korean firms need government approval when they build strategic, key or sensitive factories abroad.

Jun Dong-Soo, president of memory business at Samsung’s device solutions, said the new plant would help the company meet growing demand.

“This new NAND flash memory line will enable us to meet fast-growing demand from our customers and at the same time strengthen our overall competitiveness in the memory industry,” he said in a statement.

Demand is weak for DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips used in personal computers, pushing prices down and giving makers an incentive to adopt more advanced technology.

But the flash memory chip market is robust thanks to growing demand for mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.

Samsung had a market share of 41.6 percent in the global DRAM market in the second quarter, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

Its share of the world market for NAND flash chips was also 41.6 percent in the second quarter.

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