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Samsung's History

From its inception as a small export business in Taegu, Korea, Samsung has grown to become one of the world's leading electronics companies, specializing in digital appliances and media, semiconductors, memory, and system integration. Today Samsung's innovative and top quality products and processes are world recognized. This timeline captures the major milestones in Samsung's history, showing how the company expanded its product lines and reach, grew its revenue and market share, and has followed its mission of making life better for consumers around the world.

1980-1989 Entering the Global Marketplace

Samsung's core technology businesses diversified and expanded globally during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1978, Samsung Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics became separate entities. Samsung Aerospace Industries (now Samsung Techwin) was launched in February 1987, and Samsung has been developing its aerospace capabilities with unprecedented speed ever since.
Samsung also entered the systems development business, establishing Samsung Data Systems in 1985 (now 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 the creation of the company's two research and development (R&D) institutes that helped 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.
In 1987, Samsung's founding Chairman Byung-Chull Lee passed away after almost 50 years at the helm of the company. His son, Kun-Hee Lee, succeeded him as the new Chairman. During this period, 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.

1980-1989 Entering the Global Marketplace
  • Samsung BP Chemicals founded
  • 20 millionth color TV produced
  • Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co merged with Samsung Electronics. Home appliances, telecommunications, and semiconductors selected as core business lines.
  • Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology opened for R&D purposes
  • Developed the world's smallest, lightest 4mm video tape recorder
  • Samsung Data Systems established (Renamed Samsung SDS)
  • First VCRs exported to the US
  • Began production of personal computers (PCs)
  • Name changed from Korea Telecommunications Corp. to Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co.
  • Sales subsidiary (SEG) established in Germany
  • 10 millionth black-and-white TV produced
  • First microwave ovens (model: RE-705D) exported (to Canada)
  • 1 millionth color TV produced
  • Began producing air conditioners