According to TheElec, foundry DB HiTek CEO and Vice President Choi Chang-sik said recently that the company will invest more in 2022 to replace outdated 8-inch wafer equipment with new ones. It plans to expand the 8-inch capacity from the current 138,000 pieces per month to 150,000 pieces per month.

The report pointed out that in the past three years, DB HiTek has achieved record earnings due to high demand for 8-inch foundry power management ICs and MCUs. The company posted sales of 1.21 trillion won and operating profit of 399.1 billion won last year, up 29.8 percent and 66.8 percent from 2020, respectively. Analysts expect the company's revenue to hit 1.5 trillion won this year, up more than 20 percent from 2021.

However, due to a global shortage of chips, lead times for 8-inch wafer equipment have been extended. The company has been replacing aging 8-inch wafer equipment for the past five years, but has replaced only 30 percent of its equipment so far. In order to maintain profitability and meet high demand, DB HiTek's equipment spending this year is expected to exceed last year's 115.2 billion won, according to people familiar with the matter.