Samsung to build $17 billion chip factory in Texas

The massive investment comes amid a global shortage of chips for computers and other electronics.

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Samsung on Tuesday announced plans to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory in central Texas, a massive investment that comes amid a global chip shortage.

The facility will be located in Taylor, where Samsung already has a production facility. It's a town some 30 miles from Austin, with a population of about 16,000 people. The electronics giant will break ground next year, and chip production is expected to begin in 2024.

Samsung sells more phones and TVs than any other company, but it also has a huge business selling memory chips to device makers around the globe. In recent months, Samsung's chip business has gotten a boost from increased demand for equipment as people work from home during the coronavirus pandemic and data centers store everything we're doing online.

But that increased demand for work-from-home technology like PCs, tablets and webcams soared beyond the semiconductor manufacturing industry's ability to supply chips. The chip shortage soon extended beyond remote work and school needs to affect home entertainment products like tablets, game consoles, TVs and graphics cards for gaming PCs.

The Biden administration responded to the supply chain problems by prodding companies to be more transparent about their needs and supplies and calling on Congress to create the Critical Supply Chain Resiliency Program.

"In addition to our partners in Texas, we are grateful to the Biden Administration for creating an environment that supports companies like Samsung as we work to expand leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing in the US," Kinam Kim, CEO of Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division, said in a statement.

The 2.5 million-square-foot facility in Taylor will be larger than the sizable presence Samsung already has in Austin. In 2012, the company announced a $4 billion investment in a Texas plant to boost chip production to meet the increasing demand for mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.