Samsung's Cutting-Edge US Semiconductor Fab Hits Snag Delaying Mass Chip Production

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Samsung’s semiconductor facility in Taylor, Texas is officially delayed until 2025. There are several reasons why the Korean company has hit this setback, including difficulties in obtaining permits and receiving subsidies from the U.S. government. Economic conditions also appear to be playing a role in the decision to slow down the project.

Choi Si-young, president of Samsung’s foundry business, stated that “the first wafer would be produced in the second half of next year at the Taylor factory, with mass production commencing in 2025.” The original plan for the new Texas foundry was that the project would begin mass production of 4-nanometer chips in 2024.

However, 2024 will still see some progress at the foundry with the installation of a production line that can see the output of 5,000 12-inch wafers a month. This production will begin in the second half of 2024. These are modest numbers when compared to Samsung’s other foundries that can produce 28,000 wafers per month.

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One of the more concerning aspects of the delay is the Korean company’s view that the U.S. government might be playing favorites with the release of funds provided by the CHIPS Act. Samsung appears to believe that domestic companies such as Intel are receiving preferential treatment over foreign firms. The company alluded to this by stating, “Samsung’s decision to invest ahead of the CHIPS Act decision was based on trust in the U.S. Congress and administration.”

Foundries are complicated facilities, so it’s not surprising to see delays in these types of projects. However, the U.S. government will need to address any concerns when it comes to claims of favoritism in disbursing CHIPS Act funds. Foreign companies such as Samsung will be key in getting chip production up and running domestically, and the last thing needed is foreign companies slowing down because of this type of issue.