Hynix-ST JV sells 200mm tools to China group
September 6, 2007 – Hynix Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics jointly owned chipmaking facility in Wuxi, China, has sold its 200mm line “C1” to Chinese conglomerate China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. It’s part of Hynix’s plan to shift more business to its 300mm capacity, by upgrading some efficient 200mm sites and selling off others.
China Resources Holdings is the parent group and majority owner (50.79%) owner of Chinese chipmaker CSMC Technologies Corp., which issued a statement that it was originally going to purchase the Hynix/ST equipment, but eventually decided the deal was “inexpedient at this stage.” China Resources Holdings has now stepped in to acquire the equipment instead, with the possibility that CSMC could step up at a later point concerning ownership/use of the tools, CSMC stated. (China Resources Holdings is also the parent group of China Resources Logic, which last summer took over assembly/testing for some of STATS ChipPAC’s lower-end leadframe package families.)
CSMC increased production to 72,000 wafers/month (150mm) in June 2007, a 21% hike from the prior year, with 85% average capacity utilization rates. CSMC’s technology roadmap indicates the firm is now entering production with 0.25-micron logic processes and plans to shift to 0.18-micron by year’s end.
The Hynix-ST JV (majority owned by Hynix) was inaugurated in October 2006, initially to focus on 110-90nm DRAM and later NAND flash, eventually mixing the two based on market conditions. The 200mm operation at Wuxi, which started tests in April 2006, was brought online two months later running 50,000 wafers/month — a fast ramp that in part helped Hynix beat out rival Qimonda for the No.2 spot in 2006 DRAM sales behind Samsung, according to iSuppli Corp.