Semiconductor capital spending by Samsung Electronics is expected to reach an all-time high of US$15 billion in 2015, making the company's capex the world's highest in the semiconductor industry for the sixth straight year since 2010, according to an estimate of Digitimes Research. Meanwhile, SK Hynix's capex is expected to stay flat at US$5.1 billion in 2015 as compared to the previous year.
Samsung's capex for system ICs in 2015 will reach US$4 billion compared to US$2.9 billion in the previous year, mainly to finance the commencement of its Line-17 fab in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and a continued build-up of its 14nm production capacity at its plant in Austin, Texas.
Samsung's and Hynix's capex for DRAM products will total US$6.4 billion and US$3.8 billion, respectively, in 2015. Samsung will focus on ramping up DRAM capacity at its Line-17 fab, while Hynix is expected to inaugurate its M14 fab in the second half of 2015 for expanding the production capacity of its 20nm chips. DRAM capex of the two Korea-based semiconductor firms will account for 75% of the global DRAM capex in 2015, said Digitimes Research.
Additionally, Samsung will spend US$4.7 billion ramping up its NAND flash capacity, mainly the 3D NAND flash parts at its plant in Xian, China. Hynix will allocate US$1.3 billion to develop and produce its 10nm TLC (triple-level cell) NAND flash chips. Combined NAND flash capex by Samsung and Hynix will account for 64% of the global capex in the segment.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also expected to begin construction of its semiconductor industry park in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province in 2015.The park will call for a total investment of up to KRW15.6 trillion (US$14.21billion) and is slated to begin commercial production in the second half of 2017.