Industry sources revealed to DigiTimes that Samsung Electronics delayed the building of its new Line-17 chip fabrication plant due to the possibility of losing a portion of orders for Apple's next-generation smartphone/tablet processsors.
Samsung is looking to build its line-17 system semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, with total investment estimated at KRW4-6 trillion (US$3.7-5.5 billion). The new facility is scheduled to kick off volume production in the first quarter of 2014, and bring in an additional 80,000 12-inch wafers in capacity per month, the sources revealed.
However, Samsung will no longer be the sole supplier of Apple-designed chips that power the iPhone and iPad devices, the sources indicated. The anticipated drop in orders from Apple has prompted Samsung to consider slowing the pace of its logic-IC capacity expansion, the sources said.
TSMC with its 20nm process technology will likely secure its first chip orders from Apple, the sources believe. TSMC is scheduled to enter trial production on its 20nm process node in early 2013, the sources said.