Ex-Hynix employees were collaborating with the local Chinese government at Chengdu to acquire GlobalFoundaries’ factory there, according to local media reports.
Local company Jinsemi, which has former Hynix Semiconductor vice president Choi Jin-seok as CEO, and the Chengdu city government has a joint venture that is being touted as the most likely candidate to buy the US chip giant’s factory.
Jinsemi also has Han Seong-kyu and Ko Yo-hwan, who formerly worked for Hynix, now called SK Hynix, as executives. The company has around 200 employees, local media said.
The joint venture will buy the foundry factory __ which halted construction mid-way, people familiar with the matter told TheElec.
The people said the factory will be used for foundry, or contract-chip making, not for DRAM production as some Chinese media has speculated.
The factory was designed for foundry from the start and if it produces DRAM they will be 40-nanometer (nm) in size at best, the people added.
The joint venture between Jinsemi and the Chengdu City government was formed on September 28. Chengdu has a 60% stake in the venture. Jinsemi CEO Choi was also the CEO of the venture.
GlobalFounderies formed a company for the factory back in March, 2017. Construction began on the same year. Initially, the first stage construction would have been for 130nm and 180nm CMOS foundry, with production capacity of 20,000 300mm wafers per month. The second stage would have secured 22nm FD-SOI production with a capacity of 65,000 wafers per month. Around US$10 billion in investment was expected for the factory.
But on October, 2018, the US chip giant said it plans to only commence the second stage construction. On the same month, the US Department of Commerce announced that it was banning exports to Chinese DRAM company JHICC. Chengdu pulled out of investing in the GlobalFounderies factory.