When South Korea’s Big Memory Company Invests $11 billion in fab, it frowns. But when it comes to major capital expenditure (CapEx) packages of over $100 billion, caution is certainly warranted.
The semiconductor business in general, and the memory business in particular, is highly cyclical in nature. Just a year ago, there was a shortage of almost every chip, and prices for commodities like memory and display drivers were skyrocketing. Prices are also falling. However, in a few years, the demand for PCs and other clients his devices will rise again, and so will the demand for memory. So SK Hynix is already preparing for this with his Fab M15X expansion plans.
SK Hynix’s Fab M15X will be a two-story building occupying 60,000 square meters2 It will be located adjacent to the existing fab M15 in the Cheongju Technopolis Industrial Complex. This fab uses 3D NAND (meaning more chemical vapor deposition and etch tools in cleanrooms) and/or DRAM (more DUV and EUV equipment in cleanrooms because it’s more lithography intensive) memory manufacture chips. It may start operating in 2025. At this time, it is unclear/undecided what the fab will produce, so the company cannot disclose planned capacity for its upcoming manufacturing facility.
With a planned size roughly equal to the combined space of SK Hynix’s existing Fab M11 and Fab M12, the company’s Fab M15X expansion is not an expansion project of the existing fab, but rather an extension built directly adjacent to the existing Fab M15. Looks like new fab. However, the two manufacturing facilities share infrastructure and various facilities, which is why the manufacturer prefers to call it Fab M15X.
SK hynix vice chairman and co-CEO Park Jong-ho said, “Looking back over the past 10 years, SK hynix has been able to grow into a global company by making bold investments during times of crisis. As we prepare for the year ahead, we believe the launch of the M15X is the first step in laying the foundation for solid growth in the future.”
sauce: SK hynix