Samsung already makes the most smartphones in the world, but now the South Korean company is pushing to make the most semiconductors. Samsung just started constructing its own version of Silicon Valley, starting with $US14 billion semiconductor complex larger than 400 football fields.
The “Pyeongtaek Semiconductor Valley” is set to open in 2017, and will be Samsung’s biggest push into the chip game thus far. Samsung plans to produce D-RAM and chips for the Internet of Things market within the factory.
The city of Pyeongtaek is about three hours by bus from downtown Seoul, and it’s no stranger to rich, powerful forces establishing sprawling bases of operation there: It’s home to Camp Humphreys, a US Army base that is set to become the largest in Asia by 2016.
It might seem like Samsung is pivoting as it flags behind Apple in smartphone profits. But in a way, this is a strategic bid to remain more relevant to the smartphone market than ever. Apple still can’t quit Samsung’s chips, so the chances that your next iPhone’s innards will get made in this upcoming labyrinth of circuits are high.