Thursday, December 20, 2018
South Korea's No. 2 chipmaker, SK hynix Inc., on Wednesday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new chip production line that is expected to commence operations in October 2020.
The M16 production line, located in Icheon, 80 kilometers southeast of Seoul, will be built on a 53,000-square meter lot.
While the new line is set to produce dynamic random-access memory chips, SK hynix said its production capacities and types of chips will depend on market situations.
In 2015, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won vowed to invest 46 trillion won ($40.8 billion) in the coming years to build more factories.
"We should open a new chapter of growth by focusing our efforts on the M16 line, which is a state-of-the-art facility," Chey said during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The chipmaker said it will spend 15 trillion won on the M16 line and the new plant will add 300,000 more jobs to the market.
The massive investment came as local chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics Co. are widening the technology gap with foreign rivals, Chinese ones in particular, and meeting firm demand.
SK hynix has its M10 and M14 lines in Icheon, home of its headquarters, producing DRAM and NAND flash chips.
In Cheongju, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, SK hynix has three production lines -- M11, M12, and M15 -- designated to the production of NAND flash chips. The C2 line in Wuxi, eastern China, currently produces DRAM chips.
In July, SK hynix announced a plan to establish a joint venture in China to build a new production line for its foundry business.
Sources said SK hynix is considering building more lines in Yongin, 50 kilometers south of Seoul, to establish a so-called semiconductor complex with the government, to which other subcontractors would also be invited.
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