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Samsung digs in deep for the chip wars

SEOUL – IBM and Nvidia are two vastly different tech businesses but have one thing in common: They both recently announced that Samsung Electronics are making their most advanced semiconductors.

IBM announced in an August 17 press release the science and capabilities of its next-generation processor chip – and revealed that Samsung would be manufacturing it. On September 1, US gaming giant Nvidia revealed that the Korean giant would also make its next-generation gaming processing unit chips.

The announcements demonstrate that Samsung’s stated ambition to expand its existing dominance of the global memory semiconductor market into the richer, more sophisticated non-memory space is well on track.

It’s a massive ambition and a huge play. Samsung sells 50% of the world’s core memory products: DRAM, found in personal computers and servers, and NAND Flash chips, used primarily in hard drives and consumer electronics.

Now, with a vast universe of new applications appearing in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and connected self-driving cars – “smartphones on wheels” – a strategic thrust into non-memory is Samsung’s latest diversification.