SK Hynix will invest in facilities conservatively this year, the company’s CFO said at its conference call for the fourth quarter.
CFO Jongwon Noh said the company will invest carefully, considering the persistent uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic and unfavorable exchange rate.
Capital expenditure in facilities will exceed the 10 trillion won spent in 2020, but the rate of increase won’t be large, Noh said.
In October last year, SK Hynix announced that it was buying Intel’s NAND unit for US$9 billion. At the first closing of the deal, expected by the end of this year, SK Hynix will need to pay US$7 billion in cash to Intel.
The South Korean memory had previously said it will use its net cash and sales liquidity to pay the fee. The deal is expected to completed in 2025.
SK Hynix is expecting solid demand for memory this year. Demand from PC, server and 5G smartphones will lead growth, the company said.
Demand from solid-state drive will also strengthen beginning in the second half from launches of new CPU, the company said.
Demand for DRAM will rise 20% and for NAND flash 30%, SK Hynix said. The company will aim to meet that demand in DRAM while focusing on cost control for NAND flash, it said.
The company will also expand 1znm DRAM supply and begin 1anm DRAM supply this year, it said. SK Hynix is currently pilot producing 1anm DRAM at its M16 fab, using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) process. Mass production will begin in July.
In NAND flash, the company will migrate to 176-layer from the current 128-layer for cost control.
Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics have also said it will invest in facilities flexibly, depending on market conditions.
SK Hynix posted 31.9 trillion won in sales and 5 trillion won in operating income for the entire year of 2020, a rise of 18% and 84%, receptively.