Hynix: We’ll keep M8 200mm line for NAND growth

August 31, 2007 – Countering an initial report just days ago, Hynix says it will keep one of the two 200mm lines it was reportedly going to sell off, and will instead upgrade the NAND flash line to boost internal capacity, according to the Korea Times.

“Instead of selling the 200mm NAND flash line [M8], we will increase the productivity of memory chip capabilities,” an unnamed “high-ranking” company official told the paper, noting that the other capacity-adding option, building more 300mm lines, would take several years to complete. The paper noted that Hynix is still in talks with four potential buyers for its M9 line, though, including Taiwan foundry TSMC, which is making moves to boost its 200mm capacity. A Hynix official added that Hynix is in talks to sell its M4 200mm supporting line as well.

Days ago the Korea Times reported that Hynix would sell both its M8 and M9 lines in Cheong-ju, North Chungcheong Province, in order to shift production to existing 300mm lines. The two lines have a combined output of about 300,000 wafers/month, and are worth an estimated 1.5-2.0T won (US $1.6-$2.1B), though the paper noted a partial sale of the lines was more likely.

Hynix’s Line M7, a 200mm DRAM line in Icheon (south of Seoul), will be retained as well, and the chipmaker will invest there for its foray into nonmemory semiconductors, once restrictions expire from the previous sale of its former nonmemory operations now known as Magnachip Semiconductor. On the DRAM side, the chipmaker is upgrading several lines to 80nm — M7 in Icheon, E-1 in the US, and C-1 in China — to ramp DRAM output by up to 30%.

The Korea Times also quoted the anonymous Hynix official projecting investments of ~12.5T won ($13.25B) by the end of 2010 to build 3-4 new 300mm DRAM plants.


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