SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) — SK hynix Inc., South Korea’s second-largest chipmaker, said Thursday it is considering doubling its foundry capacity with options, including domestic facility expansion and merger and acquisition deals.
Park Jung-ho, co-CEO and vice chairman at SK hynix, made the remarks during a government event for the country’s semiconductor vision, under which it plans to offer tax incentives and state subsidies for chip companies to spend a combined 510 trillion won (US$453 billion) by 2030 for a healthy supply chain.
SK hynix is a traditional memory chip manufacturer, with its sales of non-memory products and foundry business only taking up 2 percent of its total revenue.
Currently, the company runs foundry business through its affiliate SK hynix system IC in China and has remaining space for foundry equipment in Cheongju, South Korea.
SK hynix said it will first invest in the 8-inch foundry business to tackle global chip shortages, while helping overseas expansion of domestic fabless companies.
Industry insiders expect SK hynix may soon announce M&A deals in the future to bulk up its presence in the non-memory sector, with Park leading acquisition of promising chip firms.
Park, who was officially appointed as co-CEO of SK hynix in March, is a renowned M&A expert in SK Group. He participated in SK hynix’s major business deals, including its 4 trillion-won investment in Japanese chipmaker Kioxia Corp., formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, in 2017 and the $9 billion acquisition of Intel Corp.’s NAND business last year.
Meanwhile, SK hynix also plans to build four additional chip fabrication factories in a semiconductor cluster in Yongin, south of Seoul.
The company said construction for its first new fab is expected to start in 2024, and mass production from that facility could be possible as early as 2025.