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Tension at Samsung: internal investigation that would paralyze its factories

In any large company worth its salt, there is a maxim that is usually fulfilled every year or every few years: internal investigation. But what do you do when within your own company the information provided is false by your own employees and is not going to be reflected in the accounts? Well, you have a big problem. Falsifying economic data is something that can be detected, falsifying wafer performance data… It is another matter as they say. For this reason, Samsung has opened an internal investigation that could paralyze its factories if everything gets complicated.

This is precisely what Samsung thinks has happened and if it were true we would be talking about a problem of such caliber that it could cause its factories to be paralyzed to get to the bottom of the matter. The problem is such that false data and reports are reported by a very specific subsidiary, which added to the rumors that we have been seeing in the last month everything can blow up.

Samsung’s internal investigation of its subsidiary DS

Semiconductor Business and Device Solutions (DS), the Samsung division in charge of a very complicated and crucial task in the company: to manufacture the new nodes and wafers that fight against Intel and TSMC. Well, as we know and have told on many occasions, Samsung seems to arrive before its two rivals to GAA technology thanks to a strategy where it did not continue to invest in FinFET, which relegated it to the third step of the podium, but the thing It was not as expected…

The performance of the wafers in 5nm, 4nm and 3nm of the company (two in FinFET and one in GAA or MBCFET as an internal name) is not being reported from DS, so the alarms have ended up going off when it has been seen that it is not something specific, but the norm. What is the problem really? Well, there is a suspicion that is what has encouraged Samsung’s internal investigation: counterfeiting.

New and old employees in the eye of the storm

Samsung-FAB-2

The DS division has been updating staff and laying off other employees for various reasons, so at the moment it is not known who is to blame, but in general, workers are spoken of when it is said that there has been falsified information about the performance of the manufacture of semiconductors in the named processes.

When the yields provided by the DS employees were accepted as good, mass production began and after which everything was revealed as they were unable to comply with the contracts already signed for their clients, whether direct or third parties. If the production and its volume was falsified this drags the entire production chain of the company and could give rise to a momentary closure of the factories to identify where the problems are and to be able to locate the culprits if there were any.

What happens as a result of all this? Well, Samsung has set an unrealistic price per wafer due to false performance data, so already sealed contracts can cause the company to lose a lot of money and also could not meet the agreed volume until it understands what is happening. The fastest translation would be an increase in the price of the wafers in the next firm (NAND Flash above all), which, as we can already guess, would be an increase in the prices of the products that integrate their chips. We’ll see where this all ends when the investigation is over.

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