Hynix expands efforts in China, Taiwan
| Hynix Semiconductor Inc. has invested $260 million in its China memory venture and is in talks to expand its DRAM ties with Taiwan's ProMOS Technologies Inc., according to wire reports.
South Korea's Hynix said that it will invest an additional $260 million in its joint memory fab venture in Wuxi, China, according to Reuters. The funds are aimed to expand its capacity at the 300-mm fab, according to the report.
The $2 billion fab venture was originally set up as a 50/50 venture with STMicroelectronics Inc. in 2004. But after the new investment, Hynix now owns a 77.44 percent stake in the venture.
Recently, STMicroelectronics and Intel Corp. formed a new NOR and NAND company, dubbed Numonyx. As part of the plan, STMicroelectronics shifted the fab venture in China over to Numonyx. But in the complex arrangement, Hynix is actually managing the fab venture.
Meanwhile, in a separate deal, Hynix has been in talks to transfer its 54-nm DRAM technology to ProMOS, its technology partner in Taiwan, according to a report from the Chosun Ilbo.
Hynix attempted to transfer 66-nm chip technology to ProMOS, but several parties in Korea blocked the arrangement. ''The Industrial Technology Drain Prevention Act, a law that went into effect in 2007, stipulates that 80-nm or lesser semiconductor technologies are key technologies that the country must protect,'' according to the report.
But Hynix is seeking to have this deal approved--and for good reason. ''Hynix is seeking to diversify its production base, including making products on commission at ProMOS, to cut costs and evade countervailing duties it has to pay if it directly exports goods to the U.S. or Europe,'' according to the South Korean newspaper.
Hynix is also responding to rival Micron Technology Inc., which this week formed a DRAM technology alliance with Taiwan's Nanya Technology Corp. Micron also announced a new fab in Boise, Ida.
Japanese DRAM vendor Elpida Memory Inc. also has a partner in Taiwan. The company has a joint fab venture with Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.