Its devices foothold slipping in the country, Samsung is clawing back into China’s mobile market by putting more weight behind its semiconductor arm. Its foundry business is undergoing slow growth, but Samsung is expected to heat up talks with Chinese firms to change that.
The Korean tech firm is set to host what it’s calling the Samsung Foundry Forum on August 30, during which its semiconductor chiefs will lobby representatives from roughly 100 Chinese firms. The forum will welcome the likes of ZTE, MediaTek, HiSilicon and others, according to reports.
It isn’t the creation of the event that’s telling of Samsung’s intentions here, as the company regularly engages potential customers in China. It’s the effort that’s going into this forum and what’s expected to be a slight pivot in its strategy. It plans to take on more customers instead of leaning on a handful of them.
During Samsung’s upcoming forum, the firm is expected to court new clients by offering them access to its 10nm and 14nm FinFET process designs along with its 28nm fully depleted silicon on insulator processes.
Probably one of the most infamous setbacks in Samsung’s semiconductor business was when Apple began to offload some of its orders for iPhone processors to TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Corporation) two years ago.
Last year Apple turned backed to Samsung for production of the iPhone’s A9 chips. But the company’s semiconductor business isn’t running as optimally as Samsung’s execs would like. And Samsung would probably not have to rely so heavily on its frenemy, Apple.
Samsung’s foundries are still growing, as evidenced by its semiconductor group’s 8 percent-quarter over-quarter growth and 6 percent year-over-year growth in operating profit last quarter. It’s just that its foundries’ older lines are stagnating because they aren’t suited for the production of newer chips its current clients want.