With the memory chip segment of the global semiconductor industry going into a downturn, the non-memory segment is expected to lead the growth of the industry this year. The foundry market, in particular, is likely to show a significant growth based on an increasing semiconductor chip design demand in various sectors related to Industry 4.0.
Applied Materials CFO Dan Durn recently said that global semiconductor manufacturers’ investment for this year is likely to fall more than 10 percent from a year ago. “Last year, the capital expenditures in the memory chip and non-memory segments accounted for 60 percent and 40 percent of the total, respectively,” he said, adding, “This year, however, the former is likely to fall a lot while foundry firms’ investment will show a slight increase.”
Under the circumstances, some experts predict that Samsung Electronics or SK Hynix will take over GlobalFoundries, an American foundry company, in order to accelerate the growth of its non-memory business. “SK Hynix is a more potential candidate in that Samsung Electronics is ahead of GlobalFoundries in terms of technology. Samsung Electronics and GlobalFoundries already collaborated extensively with each other, and SK Hynix can immediately become the world’s third-largest foundry company once it acquires GlobalFoundries,” one of them explained. At present, SK Hynix is a newbie in the market segment. The company’s non-memory sales currently account for less than 1 percent of its total sales after the company sold its non-memory division, Magnachip, in the past.