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Samsung takes aim at Intel with $116bn chip investment

Samsung has revealed it will invest $116bn in the development of semiconductor chips over the next decade in a drive to challenge Intel and Qualcomm, with investments split between domestic R&D and production infrastructure.

As part of its increased investment, the company said it will boost its R&D staff, generating an additional 15,000 jobs across its research and production workforce, as reported by Bloomberg.

“The investment plan is expected to help the company to reach its goal of becoming the world leader in not only memory semiconductors but also logic chips by 2030,” Samsung said in a statement.

Samsung is already one of the world leaders in memory chips, with its hardware used in a range of devices, from smartphones to laptops, desktops and servers. Despite achieving success with its own processors on its Galaxy range, the likes of Intel and Qualcomm have continued to dominate the processor market more widely by manufacturing chips for other companies.

“It’s rare for Samsung to detail such a long-term plan,” Yoo Jong-woo, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities told Bloomberg. “It’s an expression of Samsung’s commitment in a chip business that includes not only Intel but also a variety of chipmakers, such as in mobile processors.”

Although Samsung is perhaps best known for its hardware, including smartphones, three-quarters of the company’s operating income in 2018 came from shipments of its semiconductors.

However, it looks like an uncertain future for chip manufacturers in the coming years as demand from tech giants such as Amazon and Apple has waned and this has driven the price of such components down significantly.

The news coincided with an indefinite delay to Samsung's first ever folding smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, following the discovery of technical issues with its design.

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