It remains undecided if an official completion ceremony will be held
SK Hynix has completed construction of the new plant in Wuxi, China and will open the first equipment check-in ceremony.
According to the industry on the 27th, SK Hynix will hold an equipment check-in ceremony at the new plant C2F in Wuxi on this 30th. The two companies are invited to participate in the ceremony: APTC, the domestic etching equipment company and ACM, the local cleaning equipment company in China.
APCT is one of the “first generation of Technology Innovation Companies” that SK Hynix has introduced as having intensively supported its partners. This invitation has made it official that the two companies will supply equipment to the new plant in China. ACM is a cleaning equipment company that was established in Silicon Valley, USA in 1998. They established a joint venture with local capital in Shanghai, China in 2006. And since 2009, they have engaged in transactions with SK Hynix. Most of ACM's top executives are Chinese. The local recognizes ACM as a Chinese equipment company.
An industry insider said, "SK Hynix has invited one domestic company, one Chinese company, and internal employees to hold the equipment check-in ceremony for simply celebrating the symbolic meaning” and “the official completion ceremony is yet to be held.” If SK Hynix considers public opinion including reduction of domestic investment and job recruitments, the completion ceremony is highly expected not to be held.
Starting from this event, SK Hynix will turn to equipment check-in. Mass production will start in the second quarter of next year. 1x Nano process DRAM will be produced at the new plant. SK Hynix has revealed that the new plant C2F in China expresses the concept of 'extended fab'. However, according to the officials, the size of the C2F plant is confirmed to be 120,000 pieces which is identical to the monthly wafer input of the existing plant C2 in Wuxi.
Experts predict that SK Hynix will not aggressively increase the volume, although the plant is large. Currently, DRAM prices have been gradually falling since the high mark. It is expected that extension will be gradually made at a level that compensates for wafer production capacity loss due to DRAM micro-process switching and process frequency expansion.
An official of SK Hynix said, "The production volume of the new plant in Wuxi will be decided considering market conditions." Lee Myung-young, vice president of financial support at SK Hynix, said, "we anticipate that next year's investment will be downgraded compared to this year" in a conference call held shortly after the announcement of 3Q results on October 25th.