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Samsung to invest $1.1bn in chip startups

Follows Apple with plans to invest in the next big thing
Tue Feb 05 2013, 13:20
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CHIPMAKER Samsung will put $1.1bn towards venture capital funding of semiconductor firms.

The company said that it will commit the research and development funding through its Samsung Venture Americas branch and Catalyst Fund investment operations, according to multiple reports.

The investment is set to target semiconductor design and manufacturing. The company will look to fund startups that can assist its hardware units and will open a new R&D facility in Silicon Valley.

The announcement comes as Samsung is seeing its revenues hit record levels. The company reported quarterly profits of £5.2bn to close out 2012 and sales from Samsung's handset unit reached record levels.

Analysts believe that the company now controls nearly 23 percent of the smartphone market. The jump in hardware sales has brought with it a healthy appetite for components. Earlier this month Samsung passed Apple to become the world's largest single user of semiconductor chips.

Samsung has recently stepped up its investment activities, with the firm buying storage vendor Nvelo and last week buying a small stake in Wacom, best known for its touchpad and stylus input technology. With the firm looking to invest in startups, it is perhaps looking to follow in Apple's footsteps, which kickstarted its chip design efforts by buying PA Semiconductor and later Intrinsity, and invested in Imagination Technologies.

Last year, Samsung committed $4bn to build a manufacturing plant in Las Vegas. The plant, set to open in late 2013, will be tasked with manufacturing the company's tablet and smartphone CPU chips. µ


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