• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2016-02-03 17:12
By Kim Yoo-chul

Over the last few years, SK Group’s semiconductor affiliate SK hynix has been enjoying strong growth in its chip business, as the company is well positioned to reap profits through its market competitiveness.

Investors and market analysts have no doubts that SK hynix will benefit most as the global chip market has entered a structural reshaping with a new order and a few rational players.

In DRAM memory chips, Samsung Electronics is the market leader, followed by SK hynix and Micron Technology of the United States in terms of market shares as of last year.

But it seems too early to take comfort in SK’s lesser interests of diversifying its business portfolio beyond its conventionally strong models.

When looking at the current situation of SK hynix’s logic chip business, which is more profitable and has growth potential compared to existing memory chips, SK is being questioned.

“SK hynix is trapped in memory chips. If you have only one business model, then your sustainability will be threatened. In memory chips, there are a lot of challengers and those components are being commoditized due to the rise of Chinese companies,” one senior fund manager, who invested millions of dollars into SK hynix stocks, said by telephone, Wednesday.

“SK hynix needs to invest more in logic chips for a better future but they are not ready for that,” he added.

Such worries came after the world’s no.2 manufacturer of memory chips reported its fourth-quarter result below market consensus.

Market researcher Bernstein Research said although guidance was clearly not strong, it was not as bad as previously feared for both DRAM and NAND chips. However, the researcher remained slightly negative of SK’s move to sharpen its chip-making technology.

“SK hynix will not achieve 20-nanometer crossover in DRAM before the fourth quarter of this year, which is worse than our previous expectations,” it said, adding it expects the company to achieve 27 percent operating profit margin (OPM) in DRAM this year versus 37 percent in 2015.


No way out?

In accordance with growing concerns over market outlook coupled with U.S.-based semiconductor titan Intel’s plan to enter the memory chip market, analysts said SK hynix has no options but to find “what’s next” to prevent it from further falls.

Unfortunately, investment plans for its logic chip business were put on hold as SK Group’s management was still hesitant to invest more in the sector due to the company’s weak presence in logic chips in comparison to Samsung Electronics.

For example, SK has designated its M8-dubbed line for the manufacture of logic chips, inspired by Samsung’s move to supply logic chips to Apple iPhones and other big smartphone manufacturers.

“The global memory chip industry is seeing a downturn and also a technological gap has widened with Samsung Electronics for chips using a finer 20-nanometer-level technology, meaning SK has no room but to stick to its old formula focusing on memory chips,” one company official said on the condition of anonymity.

Producing memory chips isn’t much tougher than logic chips, which function as the brain in smartphones and other digital devices to control an entire computing system, while memory chips are used to enhance data and writing speed in devices.

SK hynix CEO Park Sung-wook earlier vowed to increase its investment in logic chips, but he paid little more attention to the importance of logic chips in his New Year’s speech than previous years.


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS