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timeline & history

history of SAMSUNG

Entering the global technology marketplace (1980~1989)

Entering the global technology marketplace (1980~1989)

The late 70s and early 80s represented a time of increasing diversification and global growth for SAMSUNG's core technology businesses.

In 1978, SAMSUNG Semiconductor and SAMSUNG Electronics became separate entities as new products were introduced to the global market. SAMSUNG only produced semiconductors for the domestic market until the successful development of a 64K DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) VLSI chip in December 1983, when it became a world leader in semiconductor products.

SAMSUNG Precision Company (established in 1977) laid the foundation in another high-tech industry - aerospace. Renamed SAMSUNG Aerospace Industries in February 1987 (now known as SAMSUNG Techwin), SAMSUNG has been developing its aerospace capabilities with unprecedented speed ever since. Future plans include the development of future space stations - and even space facilities for the Moon and Mars in the early 21st century.

The mid-80s also saw SAMSUNG entering the systems development business, establishing SAMSUNG Data Systems in 1985 (now known as SAMSUNG SDS) as a leader in Information Technology services including systems integration, systems management, consulting, and networking services.

SAMSUNG's increasing focus on technology led to another key development in the mid-80s with the creation of the company's two Research & Development institutes, SAMSUNG Economic Research Institute (SERI) in 1986 and SAMSUNG Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 1987. Together, these two pioneering R&D organisations have helped SAMSUNG expand its reach even further into electronics, semiconductors, high polymer chemicals, genetic engineering, optical telecommunications, aerospace and new fields of technology innovation from nanotechnology to advanced network architectures.

On November 19, 1987, SAMSUNG's founding Chairman Byung-Chull Lee passed away after almost fifty years at the helm of the company. His son, Kun-Hee Lee succeeded him as the new Chairman. On the 50th anniversary of SAMSUNG's founding in 1988, he announced the "Second Foundation" of the company, directing SAMSUNG's growth towards becoming a world-class 21st century corporation.

For this "Second Foundation," SAMSUNG challenged itself to restructure old businesses and enter new ones with the aim of becoming one of the world's top five electronics companies. The merger of SAMSUNG Electronics and SAMSUNG Semiconductor & Telecommunications was undoubtedly a key strategic moment in the progress towards this goal. For the first time in the group's history, SAMSUNG was now in a position to maximise its technological resources and develop value-added products.

The integration of overlapping projects also reduced costs and efficiently utilised capital and labour. By the late 80s, SAMSUNG's efforts to create consolidation of its electronics and heavy companies started to pay off with a well-regarded reputation matching the high-tech products the company was now known for.

Dec SAMSUNG Welfare Foundation established
Jul SAMSUNG BP Chemicals founded
Nov SAMSUNG Electronics merged with SAMSUNG Semiconductor & Telecommunications
May SAMSUNG General Chemicals established
Mar Chairman Kun-Hee Lee declared the "Second Foundation" at the 50th anniversary celebration of SAMSUNG
KOCA credit card company acquired (Renamed SAMSUNG Credit Card in May 1988, then SAMSUNG Card in September 1995)
SAMSUNG celebrated its 50th Anniversary
Dec Kun-Hee Lee appointed Chairman of SAMSUNG Group
Nov Chairman Byung-Chull Lee passed away
Oct SAMSUNG Advanced Institute of Technology (main R&D centre) opened
Jul SAMSUNG Aerospace (Known today as SAMSUNG Techwin) produces 1,000th airplane engine
Oct SAMSUNG Electronics develops the world's smallest and lightest 4mm video tape recorder
Jul SAMSUNG Economic Research Institute founded (Declared an independent corporation April 1991)
May SAMSUNG Data Systems established (Renamed SAMSUNG SDS)
Dec SAMSUNG Semiconductor & Telecommunications develops first Korean 64K DRAM chip
Jun SAMSUNG Watch established (no longer exists)
Jun Hoam Gwan (Human Resources centre) opened
Apr Ho-Am Art Museum opened its doors
Feb SAMSUNG Lions (professional baseball team) founded

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