The previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Hynix would build two new DRAM plants. However, Hynix contacted BusinessKorea to clarify that it has not definitively decided on a course of action - Ed.
According to industry sources on December 18, SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, may upgrade their Icheon, Korea-based DRAM facilities with an eight-year investment of 15 trillion won (US$14 billion), since their existing DRAM facilities are aging.
“We are currently considering whether or not to build new clean rooms to modernize aging production lines in Icheon to maintain competitiveness of our business in the mid-to-long term,” said the Korean firm on the same day.
Built in 1994, the facility in Icheon began to produce 200mm wafers. After being converted into a 300mm wafer fabrication facility in 2005, the plant has been producing 300mm wafers since then.
Previously, the chip-maker enacted the same plan in 2006, but its attempt was unsuccessful due to government regulations on limiting the establishment of factories in any nature conservation zones of a metropolitan area. However, the firm was able to get the government’s approval this time by giving the government its assurance that the company will reduce the total amount of pollutants.
The plan to upgrade its DRAM facilities is aimed at meeting the demand for DRAM chips, which is likely to increase sharply in tandem with the growing sales of smartphones. SK Hynix is planning to increase the proportion of DRAM memory chips in total from 30% to 40% by 2014.