[News] Samsung’s and SK Hynix’s Potential Expansion Plans Raise Concerns – Major Investments Anticipated Next Year

2023-12-20 Semiconductors editor

Amid a gradual recovery in the memory market, South Korean memory giants Samsung and SK Hynix are reportedly set to expand their equipment investments significantly next year.

Samsung aims for a 25% increase in investment, while SK Hynix plans to more than double its investment compared to this year, concurrently increasing production capacity, sparking industry attention.

According to South Korean media outlet ETNEWS, both Samsung and SK Hynix are planning to boost semiconductor equipment investments in 2024. Samsung’s investment is estimated at around KRW 27 trillion (approximately USD 20.78 billion), representing a 25% growth, while SK Hynix plans an investment of around KRW 5.3 trillion (approximately USD 4.07 billion), signaling a 100% increase from this year’s investment.

As ETNEWS’ report revealed, in addition to increasing equipment investment, Samsung and SK Hynix have also raised their production capacity targets for 2024. Samsung plans to expand both DRAM and NAND Flash production by approximately 24%, while SK Hynix aims to elevate DRAM output to levels seen by the end of 2022.

Looking at market share, according to TrendForce’s released data, in terms of third-quarter revenue figures, Samsung holds approximately 38.9% market share in DRAM, while SK Hynix stands at 34.3%.

In the NAND segment, Samsung holds approximately 31.4% market share, while SK Hynix stands at 20.2%.

Market concerns arise as the memory industry, which has recently seen relief from the long-standing oversupply pressure due to major manufacturers reducing production, faces the possibility of disruption once again. Amid the rebound in prices, the significant investments planned by the two major South Korean companies are causing apprehension that the memory industry may face new challenges.

Memory industry sources believe that despite Samsung and SK Hynix’s plans to increase semiconductor equipment investment and boost production capacity in 2024, the tool-in still take time. Improving production capacity utilization is not an instantaneous process.

Furthermore, there is a general consensus in the industry that several AI-related applications in the future will require large-capacity memory support. For instance, the expected 3% growth in global smartphone shipments (based on TrendForce’s report) next year is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of demand in the high-value memory market.

TrendForce also pointed out that recent news about memory manufacturers expanding investment and increasing production capacity is primarily driven by the growing demand in the HBM market, rather than capacity expansion for all products.

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(Photo credit: Samsung)

Please note that this article cites information from ETNEWS