SK hynix to invest €10.9 billion in new fab
The South Korean semiconductor giant plans to break ground on a new fabrication plant in Cheongju in October 2022. The current plan is to complete construction in early 2025.
With the to-be-built M15X(eXtension), SK Hynix plans to invest KRW 15 trillion (EUR 10.9 billion) won over the next five years to build the fab and set up production facilities. Once completed, the fab will be a two-story building equivalent to a combination of M11 and M12 in size.
The company says in a press release that it will start construction of the M15 extension on a site that it secured earlier than initially planned. The fab will be built – from October – on a 60,000 square metre plot located in the Cheongju Technopolis industrial complex, and is expected to be completed early in 2025.
"Looking back on the past 10 years, SK hynix could grow into a global company as it boldly carried out investment during crisis," says Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Park Jung-ho, in a press release. "As we look to prepare for the next 10 years now, I believe starting the M15X will be a first step to lay foundation for a solid future growth."
The company points out that demand for memory chips is rapidly falling in the wake of the global economic slowdown and instability of the supply chain. However, experts are forecasting that the business will start to recover steadily from 2024 and rebound in 2025 as the memory business cycle is increasingly getting less volatile in recent years.
The plan to build the M15X comes as SK hynix prepares for the next upturn expected to come in 2025. With the current plan, the M15X will be ready to provide more memory chips when the industry enters a boom again.
As for the next M17 fab, the company says in the press release that it will decide on a construction plan after reviewing the overall business environment, including changes in the semiconductor business cycle.