Samsung Electronics Co recently opened a research and development (R&D) centre for its foundry business, industry sources said on Monday, reflecting its drive to advance deeper into the segment. Industry sources said Samsung, which has emerged as one of the major leaders of the global chip industry, is currently seeking to catch up with No. 1 player Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in the foundry sector. Samsung is currently the fourth-largest player in the global foundry industry, Yonhap news agency reported. The foundry business refers to making chip designs for other companies that do not have a semiconductor fabrication plant. According to the sources, Samsung opened the R&D centre under the crucial device solution arm, which oversees the company's critical chip business. The new centre is focused on bolstering Samsung's capabilities in the foundry business, the sources added. The new centre adds to Samsung's existing eight research bodies under the device solution division, namely memory, system LSI, semiconductor, package, LED, production technology, software and display centres. Samsung earlier vowed to become the world's No. 2 player in the foundry industry this year by posting annual sales of $10 billion. "Samsung recently launched various efforts to make inroads deeper into the foundry business, also kicking off the Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem program earlier this year for foundry-related clients," an industry watcher said. "It is fostering growth engines by strengthening ties with major clients including Qualcomm," it added.