Samsung has announced that it will be spending $3-$4 billion on upgrading one of its chip manufacturing plants in Austin, Texas. The Austin Statesman reports that Samsung will be upgrading "roughly half" of its plant in order to make higher quality chips for mobile phones and tablets, and that this process is expected to take around a year. That section of the plant was shut down last month, and when it opens back up in 2013, Samsung will have a variety of new equipment at its disposal.
This plant in particular is widely assumed to build processors for Apple devices, so even though Samsung and Apple are currently locked in a courtroom tussle, this move by Samsung is one that Apple will eventually benefit from too. The process of removing the old equipment and replacing it is expected to take around six months, with employees going through training before that section of the plant becomes operational sometime in the latter half of next year.
Some more good news: Samsung won't be laying off any employees while this section of the plant is shut down. The last time Samsung upgraded one of its plants, it laid off workers during the construction process. That won't happen this time around, as Samsung will be putting those employees through training while the new equipment is installed. Samsung says this won't add a large number of permanent jobs at the company, but it will put around 2,000 people to work temporarily as the current equipment is upgraded.
When everything is said and done, the entire facility will be producing SoC chipsets for mobile devices and tablets. The old equipment is being removed from the facility ask you read this, with installation of the new equipment scheduled to begin sometime in September. Be sure to have a look at our story timeline below for more news on Samsung's recent happenings!