Samsung opens giant memory chip fab

Samsung Electronics said production has kicked off at its new $10.2 billion NAND flash memory chip fab in its Nano City Complex in Gyeonggi province, South Korea.

Construction at the fab, Line-16, finished in May with trial production beginning in June, Samsung said. the outfit has now begun mass production of 20nm NAND, flash chips on 300-mm wafers, which it initially expects to churn out at a rate of over 10,000 per month.

Samsung's move to a reliable 20nm process was underlined with its announcement of the first 20nm DDR3 DRAM to into production at another of its fabs. The chip maker said it aims to begin production of 10nm-class process chips in 2012.

In a statement, Samsung Electronics' chairman Kun-hee Lee said the global semiconductor industry "is in a period of fierce cyclical volatility, so the opening of this new memory fab and the start of mass production of the world's first 20nm-class DRAM are important milestones to reinforce Samsung's industry leadership."