Samsung to expand Austin R&D center to secure tech talents
Published : Jul 26, 2016 - 15:41
Updated : Jul 26, 2016 - 17:49
[News Analysis] Samsung Electronics’ latest plan to expand its research and development center in Austin, Texas, demonstrates its efforts to secure talents on its future businesses such as driverless cars or artificial intelligence, analysts said Tuesday.

Samsung Austin R&D Center, which develops system large-scale integration for premium mobile devices, said last week it would be relocating its offices from its current location at Ladera Bend to a new, larger and updated 112,000-square-foot space in northeast Austin. 

“Our new office space is twice as large as our current space and offers a more efficient, innovative layout,” Keith Hawkins, vice president, Samsung Austin R&D Center, said in a statement, adding, “we are hoping our new state-of-the-art site will inspire, support and attract even more great talent.”

The center is scheduled to relocate by the end of the year, according to the Samsung Electronics statement.

Market watchers said the expansion would help Samsung secure more talents in advanced technologies in the U.S. besides researchers for smartphone chips, whose demand has been steadily declined globally.

“The expansion appears to be part of Samsung’s efforts to secure talents in future technologies such as autonomous driving or artificial intelligence,” said Kim Rok-ho, an analyst from Hana Daetoo Securities.

Samsung has been recently ramping up its efforts to secure talents and technologies in Silicon Valley. Samsung Electronics’ chief Kwon Oh-hyun pledged last month to invest around $1.2 billion in Silicon Valley in the areas of Internet of Things. The tech giant also said it plans to strengthen partnerships with Silicon Valley startups through Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center and Samsung Global Innovation Center located in the area.

Samsung Electronics’ spokesperson said, “The technologies for system LSI can be applied for artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, although nothing has been confirmed yet.”

Apart from securing talents for the new technologies, Samsung would continue to expand its non-memory chips for smartphones too.

“Samsung has never been lax in developing non-memory chips (for smartphones). Apart from securing talents for new technologies, the company may continue to secure talented researchers in the area, who are hard to find in South Korea,” said Lee Jung, an analyst from Eugene Investment & Securities.

Samsung is currently a dominant player in memory chips, taking up more than 40 percent share in both DRAM and NAND flash in the global market. But, it accounts for only around a 3 percent share in non-memory segment.

The tech giant has recently lost many of its production orders for Apple’s A10 chipsets to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which is also reportedly to take all orders for A11.

By Shin Ji-hye (