Samsung is making its largest-ever investment in the U.S. by building a $17 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in Texas. The facility is expected to generate more than 2,000 high-tech jobs within the state.
The factory is part of the South Korean electronics giant's efforts to address the ongoing global chip shortage. The company said that the new facility should also provide 2,000 new high-tech jobs within the state and thousands more through the local economy once it is fully operational. Samsung expects the factory to be fully operational by the second half of 2024.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Kinam Kim said the factory should significantly increase the company's domestic production capacity. He added that it should also allow them to serve the needs of American customers better while also helping stabilize the global semiconductor supply chain.
Samsung's multi-billion dollar factory will be built in the city of Taylor in Texas. The company said it chose to build the factory in the city due to its proximity to its existing plant in Austin and because of its favorable business environment. The company said it had also received strong government support to build its factory in the city.
Along with Samsung's latest major production line in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, the Taylor site will cover more than 5 million square meters and is projected to serve as a significant hub for the company's worldwide semiconductor manufacturing capacity.
In May of this year, Samsung said that it plans to spend up to $34 billion to expand its chipmaking capabilities. With investment commitments announced in 2019, the company's overall investment in the business is expected to reach $151 billion over the coming decade.
While the main cause of the global chip shortage may be the pandemic, extreme weather and other factors have also contributed to the issue. These factors have also caused the U.S. to fall behind other producers
The Semiconductor Industry Association said the U.S.'s share in global semiconductor production fell to only 12% last year. This is a decrease from 37% in 1990. The trade organization claimed that one of the reasons for the lag is how other governments are providing "significant" subsidies that have put the U.S. at a "competitive disadvantage."
The sector is currently dominated by Asian countries such as China and South Korea. Samsung and other South Korean businesses are investing heavily in order to increase output in the coming decade.
The Biden administration has recently been pushing to increase domestic semiconductor production and research. Under Biden's initial infrastructure plan, an investment package of $50 billion was included to help bolster the country's semiconductor sector.