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SK Hynix

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SK hynix Inc.
Native name
에스케이하이닉스 주식회사
FormerlyHynix (2001-2012)
Company typePublic
KRX: 000660
Founded15 October 1949; 74 years ago (1949-10-15) (legal)
26 February 1983; 41 years ago (1983-02-26) (actual)
FounderChung Ju-yung
South Korea
ProductsDRAM, NAND flash
RevenueDecrease 32.77 trillion (2023)
Decrease −₩7.73 trillion (2023)
Decrease −₩9.14 trillion (2023)
Total assetsDecrease ₩100.33 trillion (2023)
Total equityDecrease ₩53.50 trillion (2023)
ParentSK Group
Footnotes / references

SK hynix Inc. (Korean: 에스케이하이닉스 주식회사) is a South Korean supplier of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips and flash memory chips. SK Hynix is one of the world's largest semiconductor vendors.[2][3]

Founded as Hyundai Electronics in 1983, SK Hynix was integrated into the SK Group in 2012 following a series of mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring efforts. After being incorporated into the SK Group, SK Hynix became a major affiliate alongside SK Innovation and SK Telecom.[4]

The company's major customers include Microsoft, Apple,[5] Asus, Dell, MSI, HP Inc., and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (formerly Hewlett-Packard).[2] Other products that use Hynix memory include DVD players, cellular phones, set-top boxes, personal digital assistants, networking equipment, and hard disk drives.[6]





Hyundai Electronics

A Hyundai SRAM in a Seagate Hard Drive (ST351A-X)

Hyundai Electronics was founded in 1983 by Chung Ju-yung, the founder of Hyundai Group. In the early 1980s, Chung recognized the growing importance of electronics in the automobile industry, one of Hyundai's primary business areas. He saw the potential for Hyundai to expand beyond its core operations in automobiles, shipbuilding, and heavy industries and wanted to establish a presence in the promising electronics industry. The company's primary focus was on semiconductor production and industrial electronics.

Hyundai had to pay a very high entry price to set up an efficient production system and to stabilize the yield rate compared to its rival Samsung, who at least had prior experience in semiconductor manufacturing. Hyundai's decision to produce SRAMs was later proven to be a mistake, as the technological sophistication of SRAMs made it difficult for Hyundai to achieve a satisfactory yield rate. In 1985, Hyundai altered its strategy for DRAM manufacturing by subcontracting from foreign firms and importing their chip designs, as it had lost time developing its own chips. Hyundai's DRAM chip, produced by importing Vitelic Corporation's design and technology, again failed in mass production due to a low yield rate.

Hyundai's approach to manufacturing memory chips as a foundry for foreign firms under OEM agreements was successful. The OEM agreements between General Instruments and Texas Instruments were helpful to Hyundai, which was facing technological and financial difficulties. By 1992, Hyundai had become the world's ninth DRAM manufacturer, and by 1995, it ranked among the world's top 20 semiconductor manufacturing companies. In 1996, Hyundai acquired Maxtor, a U.S.-based disk-drive manufacturer.[7][8][9]

LG Semicon

LG Semiconductor 3DMAX-A (8 MB) video card

GoldStar, which later became LG Electronics, entered the semiconductor business by acquiring a small company from Taihan Electic Wire in 1979. The company was subsequently renamed GoldStar Semiconductor. LG Semicon was established as Goldstar Electron in 1983 by merging the semiconductor operations of Goldstar Electronics and Goldstar Semiconductors. In 1990, Goldstar Electron commenced operations at Cheongju Plant I, followed by the completion of Cheongju Plant II in 1994. The company underwent a name change to LG Semicon in 1995. LG Semicon operated from three sites, including Seoul, Cheongju, and Gumi.[10][8]



During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the South Korean government initiated the restructuring of the nation's five major conglomerates, including their semiconductor businesses. Among five chaebols, Samsung, LG, and Hyundai were engaged in the semiconductor business. Samsung was exempt from the restructuring due to its competitive position in the global market. However, LG and Hyundai were pressured by the government to merge, as both companies faced significant losses during the semiconductor recession of early 1996. In 1998, Hyundai Electronics acquired LG Semicon for US$ 2.1 billion, positioning itself in direct competition with Micron Technology. Subsequently, LG Semicon was rebranded as Hyundai Semiconductor and later merged with Hyundai Electronics.[11][12][13]


A 512 MB DDR 333 MHz SO-DIMM Hynix memory module

Although the South Korean government aimed to merge the two companies to alleviate the supply glut in the global market, competition in the semiconductor industry had intensified. Hyundai faced near collapse during the chip industry's downturn in 2001, when global memory chip prices dropped by 80 percent, resulting in a 5 trillion won annual loss for the company. Creditor banks, many of them under government control at the time, intervened to provide assistance.[14]

In 2001, Hyundai Electronics rebranded as Hynix Semiconductor, a portmanteau of "high" and "electronics". Alongside this change, Hynix began selling or spinning off business units to recover from a cash squeeze. [15] Hynix separated several business units, including Hyundai Curitel, a mobile phone manufacturer;[16] Hyundai SysComm, a CDMA mobile communication chip maker;[17] Hyundai Autonet, a car navigation system producer;[18] ImageQuest, a flat panel display company;[19] and its TFT-LCD unit,[20] among others. The divestiture was part of a bailout plan requested by the major creditor, Korea Development Bank, to provide fresh funds to the insolvent semiconductor maker.[21]

In 2003, Hyundai Group affiliates, including Hyundai Merchant Marine, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Elevator, and Chung Mong-hun, the chairman of Hyundai Asan, consented to forfeit their voting rights and sell their stakes in Hynix.[22] Hynix was then formally spun-off from the Hyundai Group in August 2003.[23]

SK Hynix

A SK Hynix SDRAM in Apple MacBook Pro

The Hynix creditors, including Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank and Korea Finance Corporation, attempted to sell their stake in Hynix several times but failed.[24][25][26] Korean companies such as Hyosung, Dongbu CNI, and former stakeholders, including Hyundai Heavy Industries and LG, were considered potential bidders but were either denied or withdrew from the bidding.[27] In July 2011, SK Telecom, the nation's largest telecommunication company, and STX Group officially entered the bid.[28] STX dropped its deal in September 2011, leaving SK Telecom as the sole bidder. In the end, SK acquired Hynix for US$ 3 billion in February 2012.[29][30][31] As Hynix was incorporated into SK Group, its name was changed to SK Hynix.[32]

In 2021, Hynix acquired Intel's NAND business for $9 billion, resulting in the establishment of Solidigm.[33][34][35]



SK Hynix has production facilities in Icheon and Cheongju, South Korea, and in Wuxi, Chongqing and Dalian, China.[36]



Hynix produces a variety of semiconductor memories, including:

See also



  1. ^ "Annual Report". englishdart.fss.or.kr. Financial Supervisory Service. 31 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Youkyung (26 July 2012). "SK Hynix sinks to loss on oversupply, weak demand". Seoul, South Korea. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Gartner Says Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Grew 1.1% in 2022". Gartner. 17 January 2023. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  4. ^ Seo, Jee-yeon (9 December 2014). "SK appoints young CEOs". The Korea Herald.
  5. ^ By Paul Briden, Know Your Mobile. "iPhone SE One Week Later: "Adoption Has Been Low"." 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Analysis of SK hynix". Dublin: Research and Markets. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  7. ^ "The Korean system of innovation and the semiconductor industry:a governance perspective" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b Kim, Dong-won (29 September 2023). Making a Semiconductor Superpower. CRC Press. ISBN 9781000936087.
  9. ^ "Maxtor Drives Hard". Forbes. 21 November 2001.
  10. ^ Pecht, Mike (24 July 2020). The Korean Electronics Industry. CRC Press. ISBN 9781000154023.
  11. ^ Robertson, Jack (24 September 1998). "Hyundai And LG Semicon To Merge Chip Ops". EE Times.
  12. ^ Journal, Hae Won ChoiStaff Reporter of The Wall Street (16 March 1999). "LG Semicon Sale Is Seen Helping LG Electronics". The Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^ "Hyundai And LG Semicon To Merge Chip Ops". EETimes. 24 September 1998.
  14. ^ Choe, Sang-Hun (2 September 2005). "Hynix has become a comeback darling". The New York Times. Seoul.
  15. ^ "Hyundai Electronics to Be Renamed Hynix". The New York Times. 9 March 2001.
  16. ^ Moon, So-young (23 October 2003). "Local buyouts burdened". Korea Joongang Daily.
  17. ^ Robertson, Jack (23 January 2022). "Hynix to sell holding in CDMA company for $44.7 million". EE Times.
  18. ^ LaPedus, Mark (13 October 2005). "Hynix profits up 115% in Q3". EE Times. San Jose.
  19. ^ "Hynix to sell shares in flat panel display company". EE Times. 5 February 2003.
  20. ^ LaPedus, Mark (25 May 2005). "BOE propels China into large-screen LCD market". EE Times. San Jose.
  21. ^ Jong, Sonu (29 August 2001). "Korea Development Bank Balks at New Funds for Hynix". The Chosun Ilbo.
  22. ^ Kim, Won-bae (5 January 2003). "Chung, Affiliates to Bow Out To Ease Separation of Hynix". Korea JoongAng Daily.
  23. ^ Rhee, So-Eui (31 July 2001). "Hynix Says Government Has Cleared Its Separation From Parent Hyundai". The Wall Street Journal. Seoul.
  24. ^ "UPDATE 1-Hynix stake up for sale in auction again in Dec". Reuters. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  25. ^ Park, Ju-Min (21 June 2011). "S.Korea's Hynix shareholders in 3rd attempt to find buyer". Reuters. Seoul.
  26. ^ Lee, Se Young; Lee, Jung-Ah (21 June 2011). "Hynix Creditors Launch Third Attempt at Stake Sale". The Wall Street Journal. Seoul.
  27. ^ Park, Ju-Min; Kim, Miyoung (7 July 2011). "STX says may bid for Hynix as Hyundai Heavy drops out". Reuters.
  28. ^ Kim, Da-ye (10 July 2011). "SK, STX bet on Hynix for future growth". The Korea Times.
  29. ^ Park, Ju-Min (11 November 2011). "SK Telecom picked for $3 bln Hynix deal". Reuters. Seoul.
  30. ^ Lee, Jung-Ah (14 November 2011). "SK Telecom to Buy Hynix Stake for $3.04 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. Seoul.
  31. ^ "Hynix names Chey as co-CEO as SK completes $3 billion deal". Reuters. Seoul. 14 February 2012.
  32. ^ Clarke, Peter (23 March 2012). "Hynix name change reflects SK investment". EE Times. London.
  33. ^ "South Korea's SK Hynix to buy Intel's NAND business for $9 billion". uk.reuters.com. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  34. ^ Anderson, Mark (24 May 2022). "Intel spinoff Solidigm to open Rancho Cordova R&D office, lab". American City Business Journals.
  35. ^ Joseph F. Kovar (24 January 2022). "Solidigm CEO: Spinning Out of Intel To SK Hynix 'Gives Us The Greater Scale We Need'". CRN.
  36. ^ Lee, Joyce (6 September 2022). "SK Hynix to invest $11 bln in new South Korea chip plant". Reuters.
  37. ^ "SK hynix vows to maintain competitive edge in AI memory chips over Samsung, Micron". The Korea Times. 27 March 2024.
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