Samsung to invest £6.5 billion in chip tech

Korean electronics giant Samsung plans to invest more than half of its liquid assets into the semiconductor sector.

According to Korea's free market news source The Hankyoreh, the company has about 20 trillion Won sloshing about in cash and it plans to spend more than half of that bolstering its chip business.

We revealed last week how the the firm intends to invest much of that dough in various projects, ranging from solar cells to medical tech.

Now chairman Lee Kun-hee has said that the company will spend almost $10 billion (£6.5 billion) on the first new production line the company has opened since 2005, which will start producing 12-inch wafers by 2011.

Samsung is already the world's biggest producer of semiconductors and the investment move is seen by some as a challenge to other manufacturers, who seem to be treading cautiously after the recent economic downturn.

Intel is keeping a beady eye on the chaebol.