SAN FRANCISO Hynix Semiconductor Inc. Thursday (Sept. 18) announced plans to accelerate the retirement of its 200-mm fabs, reducing overall manufacturing capacity by 30 percent.
Hynix said it would shutter its M7 plant in Icheon, South Korea by the end of the month. The company had previously announced plans to close two 200-mm facilities in Cheongju, South Korea and one in Eugene, Ore.
The company's final 200-mm fab, located in Wuxi, China, will produce lower volume than its original 130,000-wafer-per-month target and focus on specialty products, Hynix said.
The fab closures and the cut back in Wuxi will result in Hynix' total product from 200-mm fabs being reduced to less than 10 percent of the company's total capacity at the beginning of 2009, down from 50 percent at the end of 2007, Hynix said.
As a result of the closures, Hynix' DRAM and NAND flash capacity will be reduced by 20 and 40 percent, respectively, the company said. The majority of DRAM and NAND capacity will be converted to the company's 300-mm fabs, Hynix said.
The DRAM industry has experienced a prolonged period of depressed average selling prices, largely blamed on industry-wide overcapacity. Firms are ramping 300-mm plants faster than expected, making the older 200-mm fabs less cost effective and a drain on profits.
Hynix last month announced the completion of a 300-mm fab in Cheongju capable of producing about 200,000 wafers per month.