Samsung expands TX Taylor plant following major AI chip orders

Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


In a strategic move, Samsung Electronics is expanding its facility in Taylor, Texas, with the addition of a substantial 2.7 million square foot building. The decision comes as part of the company's recent foray into AI chip manufacturing deals, set to be executed at the Taylor site currently under construction.

This expansion coincides with speculation about Samsung's deferred additional investment of US$8 billion for the plant, now slated for the latter part of 2024. This delay reportedly hints at a pivot towards advancing the cutting-edge 3-nanometer manufacturing process.

South Korean news outlet JoongAng Daily has reported the city of Taylor has officially appointed a local engineering company to oversee the development review and inspection services for the newly designated "Samsung Fabrication Plant 2."

As disclosed in a document on the city's website, this venture is part of a development agreement between the city and Samsung. The agreement outlines the city's commitment to facilitating a swift and efficient approval process for the site and building construction activities.

The city documents revealed that Samsung Austin Semiconductor aims to construct the second fabrication plant on the southwest side of Taylor, covering approximately 2.7 million square feet or 61 acres.

This second plant plays a pivotal role in the US$17 billion project announced by Samsung Electronics in 2021. Although the initial investment was set at US$17 billion, it has now surged to US$25 billion due to increased raw material and construction costs. However, this additional investment is reportedly deferred to the latter part of 2024.

An official from the Taylor city government affirmed that "[Samsung Fabrication Plant 2] refers to an extension of the Samsung project currently in progress in the City of Taylor," emphasizing its significance in increasing the capital investment in Taylor and Williamson County.

The exact purpose of the new building remains undisclosed, as Samsung Electronics refrains from commenting on the agenda. However, industry speculations on the new building range from the possibility of housing a section of the chip fabrication line to serving as maintenance facilities.

As previously reported by ZDNet Korea, additional equipment is estimated to be introduced as early as the third quarter of 2024, with the actual expansion of mass production at the Taylor plant likely to take place in 2025.

This expansion unfolds against the backdrop of Samsung's Taylor fab securing orders from two major clients in the AI chip sector. Groq, a prominent fabless AI chip design firm, has entrusted Samsung with the production of 4-nanometer technology slated for completion by the end of 2024. Meanwhile, Canadian startup Tenstorrent, making waves in the realms of RISC-V and AI IP, has also partnered with the South Korean giant for the manufacturing of their chiplets.

Previously, Kye Hyun Kyung, at the helm of Samsung's Semiconductor and Device Solutions (DS) division, has proclaimed aspirations for the company to outpace TSMC within the next five years. This latest expansion effort aligns with the South Korean-based company's goals to catch up with the dominant Taiwan-based giant.