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Samsung, SK hynix up memory chip investment

Memory chipmakers -- Samsung Electronics and SK hynix -- are spurring investment as Chinese tech giants are making an aggressive push into the semiconductor business backed by their government, analysts said.

Chinese conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup recently acquired half of the state-run chipmaker XMC. The tie-up is viewed by industry watchers as helping China move toward the goal of self-sufficiency in memory chips.

Tsinghua Unigroup reportedly plans to set up memory chip factories with an investment of $12 billion, while XMC also seeks to invest in a wafer plant worth $24 billion.

In respond to China’s strong push, Samsung Electronics and SK hynix plan to boost their investments to stay ahead of the potential rivals.

The world’s biggest memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics recently announced that it would invest 15 trillion won ($13 billion) in its plants in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Industry watchers said the firm aims to use the investment to produce 3-D NAND.

SK hynix will also reportedly mass produce 3-D NAND from the first quarter of next year in its M14 factory in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. The firm is currently producing NAND Flash in its M11 and M12 lines in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.

The global NAND Flash market has grown by 47 percent on average annually from 2011 to 2016, according to research firm DRAMeXchange.


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