SEOUL: Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday that it expects to see demand growth in various chip products with the economic recovery despite concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Kim Ki-nam, who heads Samsung's device solutions (DS) division, said that "uncertainties" will continue this year, but global chip demand will increase.
"We expect to see improved economic growth this year, although uncertainties like the U.S.-China conflict and currency rate will continue," Kim said at an annual meeting of Samsung shareholders.
"Against this backdrop, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are spreading across the industry, and this will lead to demand growth of various semiconductors that are the base of digital technologies."
Kim said Samsung will focus on bolstering its technology leadership in the chips business this year.
In the memory business, the South Korean tech giant will concentrate on developing the fourth-generation 10-nanometer (nm) level DRAM and the seven-generation V-NAND, according to Kim.
In the foundry sector, where Samsung is trying to catch up to the industry leader TSMC, Kim said Samsung plans to mass-produce third-generation 5nm products, and further advance its 3nm node process technology, reports Yonhap news agency.
Kim admitted that Samsung is behind TSMC when it comes to production capacity and the number of customers since the company began its foundry business later than its Taiwanese rival. However, he said the gap between the two will decrease.
"There is no problem in our competitiveness in node technology, and we will try to beef up our production capacity in time by making investments efficiently," he said.
Kim said the company is examining its merger and acquisition (M&A) plans. Samsung earlier said it aims to clinch M&A deals in the upcoming years, which many expect to happen in the chipmaking sector.
For its mobile business, Samsung said the global smartphone market will also grow, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand of 5G.
Koh Dong-jin, chief of Samsung's IT & Mobile business division, said Samsung will continue to introduce "differentiated" flagship smartphones to expand sales.
"We will expand our 5G product portfolio to mid-low sectors and introduce lineups that meet each region's interest," he said. "We also aim to popularize the foldable smartphone category."
For its home appliance business, Samsung, the world's largest TV and refrigerator vendor, will focus on delivering premium products and enhancing the user experience with customised solutions like its BESPOKE brand appliances.