Samsung Electronics has announced plans to build five new semiconductor factories south of Seoul over the next 20 years in a bid to close the gap with Taiwan’s TSMC in the integrated circuit (IC) foundry business while maintaining its leading position in memory chips. The factories will be the core of what the South Korean government hopes will become “the world’s largest high-tech system semiconductor cluster.” Total investment in the scheme is expected to reach 300 trillion won (US$230 billion). That might sound like a lot of money, but Samsung’s semiconductor capital spending was 47.9 trillion won last year, so the target is likely achievable. Inspired by the Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan, home of TSMC, Samsung’s cluster is expected to attract several chip design companies and suppliers of equipment, components, materials and related services to fill out the supply chain.