The Samsung semiconductor business now has three units – Memory, System LSI and Foundry.
The foundry move is being seen as a precursor to opening up its foundry operations to more, and presumably smaller volume, customers.
Up to now, Samsung’s foundry business, which pulls in revenues of around $4.7 billion a year according to IHS, is only interested in fabbing very large volume orders.
With the finalisation of its 10nm process as an inducement, Samsung is now on the hunt for more customers.
The separation of the foundry business may also be an attempt to allay new customers’ fears that their technology might leak to Samsung’s logic and memory operations
Samsung’s current chip boss, Kim Ki-nam, will continue to run the foundry operation