SK Hynix last week announced plans to build another semiconductor fab near its headquarters in Icheon, South Korea. The production facility is not going to be as big and expensive as other investments, but will contribution to the company’s revenue and bottom line.

The new fab will be located on a 53,000 m2 site near Icheon, Gyeonggi-do province, and will cost SK Hynix around ₩3.5 trillion ($3.13 billion) to build. The company will begin construction of the fab in late 2018 and expects to complete the fab in October, 2020. The maker of memory did not say whether the plant will be operational by that timeframe, or if only the building will be completed, but given typical amount of time it takes semiconductor companies to bring up a new fab online, it is likely that the facility will process actual wafers by late 2020.

By the 'standards' of South Korea-based makers of DRAM and NAND memory, the new fab is small and cheap. Just to put the $3.13 billion in context, Samsung’s total investments in its Pyeongtaek facility will total ₩30 trillion ($26.1 billion) by 2021 and the fab is located on a 759,000 m2 site. SK Hynix itself is operating its own M14 gigantic fab near Icheon. In fact, the addition of the new fab to SK Hynix’s family did not have any effect on its commitment to spend ₩46 trillion (~$41.16 billion) on fabs in the mid and long-term future announced back in 2016. At present SK Hynix is upgrading its M14 fab in South Korea, buidling a new DRAM/3D NAND fab near Cheongju (South Korea), and expanding its C2 fab in Wuxi, China.

Overview of SK Hynix Manufacturing Capacities
Data as of Late 2016
  Icheon, South Korea Cheongju, South Korea Wuxi, China
M10 M14 Future M8 M11 M12 Future C2
Production Capacity
(300-mm wafer starts per month)
130K <200K now

300K after upgrades
TBD - 50K 40K TBD 130K
being upgraded
Application DRAM Yes Yes ? - Yes Yes Yes Yes
NAND 2D + 3D ? - 2D 2D 3D 2D
DDIC - - - Yes - - - -
PMIC - - - Yes - - - -
CIS Yes - - Yes - - - -
Wafer Size (mm) 300 200 300
2016 Q3
Total DRAM Output Today (300-mm wafer starts per month) 300K
Total NAND Ouput Today (300-mm wafer starts per month) 230K

SK Hynix did not say what kind of products it is going to build in the new fab, but indicated that the decisions will be made considering future market conditions. The company also said that the fab would be constructed “in response to growing demand for memory chips and to secure a future growth engine.” Given modest dimensions of the fab it is possible that it will be used mainly for development of next-gen products and/or process technologies rather than for high-volume production of commodity DRAM or 3D NAND memory.

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Source: SK Hynix

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  • iwod - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Where is that person who said all the DRAM and NAND maker are not expanding their capacity and are acting like cartel?
  • StrangerGuy - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    The cartel you speak is only expanding production only because they are spooked by upcoming mass production by China's domestic DRAM/NAND manufacturers with bottomless capitalization. If you think otherwise you are a fool.
  • zeusk - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    > If you think otherwise you are a fool.

    hot tips straight from the arm chair CEO
  • iwod - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Sigh. It is no wonder US and China are going into trade war or possibly a war. Both side don't want to understand each other.
  • StrangerGuy - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    When everyone outside US agrees says your pres is an economic idiot, just wave it off as no one want to understand each other.
  • Adramtech - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    StrangerGuy, China is 3 years behind in bit density and will already lose tons of money. SK is not going to kill their profits when China doesn't care about losing money.
  • StrangerGuy - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    That's what they said about China on Li-ion batteries, LCDs etc in the past, nobody would want their inferior products until they undercut everyone else so much while the quality steadily improves.

    2018 and people still underestimating China :lol:
  • mpbello - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Exactly, and China is increasingly forcing all countries to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Nowadays, Taiwan only has diplomatic relations with less than 20 countries.
    China wants Taiwan and a lot of their interest is driven by their desire to lead the semi industry. Do not underestimate China.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    It's probably best not to prod at those kinds of people. They'll find a path of thought, however warped and in ignorance of reality, in order to continue to rationalize touting the idea that there's some sort of nefarious plot carried out specifically to make it too expensive for them to build their gaming computers that they can then brag about to people that don't understand technology or simply don't care, but are only listening because said people are friends, family, or a captive coworker audience.
  • Cooe - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Uhhh do you have amensia, or is your memory just absolutely freaking terrible??? The memory makers have done exactly what he was describing before with no qualms whatsoever & it was a massive deal when it all came out, and then the lawsuits started flying.

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