SK Hynix announced that it will hold the opening ceremony of the its M15 semiconductor factory in Cheongju in October and will start mass production of high-standard NAND Flash.
The M15 plant is located in the Cheongju Science Park in South Korea. It is a high-standard NAND Flash factory built by SK Hynix with a total investment of US$13.47 billion. It will produce 72-layer 3D NAND Flash and 96-layer 4D NAND Flash. It is expected that 96-layer 3D NAND products will be delivered to customers from the beginning of 2019, which will strengthen SK Hynix's leading position in the NAND Flash market. In addition, the mass production of 96-layer 3D NAND flash memory can also make SK Hynix's profit structure more balanced. Last year, SK Hynix's operating profit in the DRAM sector accounted for 90% of its total operating profit, of which the NAND sector's share was less than 10%. In contrast, Samsung Electronics' DRAM operating profit accounted for 63%, and NAND business accounted for 32%.
In fact, the completion of the M15 plant will be more than five months earlier than the original planning time. Insiders said that the reason why SK Hynix M15 plant will be completed ahead of schedule is partly due to the rapid development of Chinese companies in the 3D NAND flash memory market. According to UNIGROUP in China, its 32-layer 3D NAND flash memory chip will be mass-produced in the fourth quarter of this year, and the development of 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips is also accelerating and planned to be mass-produced in 2019.