August 23, 2007 – Hynix Semiconductor will likely sell off chipmaking equipment from its M8 and M9 200mm DRAM lines in Cheong-ju, North Chungcheong Province, by the end of this year in order to shift more production to its 300mm business and increase productivity, according to anonymous “high-ranking” company officials quoted by the Korea Times, who also projected spending ~12.5T won ($13.25B) by the end of 2010 to build 3-4 new 300mm DRAM plants..
Hynix’s M8 and M9 lines have 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 is more likely to reduce cost burden.
The paper noted that sources have said TSMC is in talks to possibly purchase the equipment from Hynix for $500-$550M, a rumor that the unnamed official did not deny, saying that “Nothing has been decided yet [but] we are not ruling this out.”
Hynix’s Line M7, another 200mm DRAM line in Icheon (south of Seoul), will be retained, though, and Hynix 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.
Earlier this year, Hynix CEO Kim Jong-gab said the company was eyeing its reentrance into the nonmemory semiconductor market, in addition to a projected 30% share in DRAM, NAND flash and PRAM chips, respectively, by 2012, the paper noted.