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Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that due to projected heavy demand for its advanced logic chips the South Korean company will invest $3.6 billion to expand capacity at its plant in Austin, Texas, and hire 500 more workers there by 2011.

Samsung will raise its employee count at the facility to 1,500 from 1,000 by next year, boosting annual payroll to about $105 million. The expansion, which builds out the second phase of its 2.3 million-square-foot complex, will bring its total investment in the Austin plant to more than $9 billion.

Most of the new employees with be engineers and technicians. In addition, the company said almost 3,000 construction workers and equipment vendors will move in and set up the machinery. The plant will build advanced logic devices for Samsung's system large-scale integration business and continue to make NAND flash memory chips, which are used in consumer electronics such as digital cameras, thumb drives and MP3 players.

"Forty-five nanometer and below advanced logic applications are in high demand and respective markets are expected to show substantial growth in the coming years," said Stephen Woo, executive vice president and general manager of Samsung's System LSI division.

Samsung expects the facility will be operational by the second quarter of next year.

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