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SK Hynix to Build World’s Largest Chip Fab; Korea Targets $120 Billion Export Boom

SK Hynix Inc., the world's second-largest memory chip manufacturer, is set to invest over 120 trillion won ($90.7 billion) by 2046 to construct the largest chip fab
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Introduction

In an era where technological innovation drives global progress, the semiconductor industry stands at the forefront of transformative change. As nations vie for supremacy in this critical sector, South Korea has unveiled ambitious plans to consolidate its position as a leader in semiconductor manufacturing. SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest memory chip manufacturer, is set to invest over 120 trillion won ($90.7 billion) by 2046 to construct the largest chip fab

Industry Minister Ahn Duk-geun, far right, gets briefed on SK hynix’ chip cluster project in Yongin, Gyeonggi, on Thursday. [YONHAP]

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SK Hynix: World’s largest chip fab

At the core of SK hynix’s venture lies a strategic focus on dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash memory chips. These memory components form the backbone of modern computing systems, powering everything from smartphones to data centers.

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest memory chip manufacturer, is set to invest over 120 trillion won ($90.7 billion) by 2046 to construct the largest chip fab globally at its Yongin Semiconductor Cluster in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.

The company announced on Thursday that it will commence construction on the first of four units within the facilities next March. SK Hynix further stated that the initial unit will be the world’s largest three-story fabrication plant.

According to the company, the site for the first unit is approximately 35% complete. The project encountered delays in development due to licensing procedures since its initial announcement in 2019. However, SK Hynix mentioned that the project gained momentum in 2022 following an agreement between the government, municipalities, and companies.

By committing to the production of these essential components, SK hynix aims to address burgeoning demand in the global semiconductor market while solidifying its position as a key player in memory chip manufacturing.

Government Support: Nurturing Technological Excellence

Industry Minister Ahn Duk-geun’s recent visit to the site underscores the government’s steadfast support for the mega chip cluster project. Recognizing the pivotal role of semiconductor technology in driving economic growth, Minister Ahn reiterated the government’s commitment to providing full-fledged support to ensure the timely establishment of the cluster.

“As speed is crucial in securing significant technical supremacy in semiconductors, government departments will join forces so that the cluster can be established in a timely manner,” 

~Industry Minister Ahn Duk-geun

This support extends beyond financial incentives to encompass regulatory assistance, infrastructure development, and talent cultivation. This helps to lay the groundwork for sustainable growth in the semiconductor sector.

Innovation Ecosystem: Fostering Collaboration and Synergy

Central to the success of the mega chip cluster project is the cultivation of a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Beyond chip manufacturers like SK hynix, the cluster will accommodate small component and equipment companies. This will foster collaboration and knowledge exchange across the semiconductor value chain.

This collaborative ethos is essential for nurturing technological innovation and driving continuous improvement in semiconductor production processes.

Investment Outlook: Fueling Growth and Expansion

SK hynix’s investment in its Yongin facility represents a significant commitment to the future of semiconductor manufacturing in Korea.

With 120 trillion won allocated for the construction of four memory chip fabrication plants through 2046, SK hynix is poised to play a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the mega chip cluster.

Moreover, Samsung Electronics’ substantial investment in the cluster underscores the industry-wide commitment to positioning Korea as a global semiconductor hub.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of Semiconductors

SK hynix is leading Korea’s semiconductor renaissance with its venture in Yongin, Gyeonggi. Supported by the government, industry collaboration, and significant investments, the mega chip cluster project aims to reshape the global semiconductor landscape.

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