Hynix, Fidelix foundry pact aims to boost 200mm productivity

Mar. 25, 2008 – Hynix Semiconductor and Korean fabless firm Fidelix have signed a deal centering on the firm’s mobile DRAM and PSRAM, and Hynix will take a 10% stake in the company, in a deal that helps Hynix diversify its portfolio and better utilize its 200mm facilities, according to reports.

Details of the transaction were not available, though the Korea Times quoted a Hynix spokesperson saying the 10% stake in Fidelix would cost 3.56B won (US ~$3.6M). Other reports indicated that Fidelix aims to boost its sales by ~27% to 80.4B won (~$79.6M) in 2008.

Hynix currently operates 200mm lines in Icheon (M7) and Cheongju (M8, M9), and a Gartner analyst note speculates that Hynix struck the deal to utilize these outdated 200mm facilities. Specifically, suggests analyst Chang-Soo Kim, the Fidelix work will be done in M7, meaning the line will produce both DRAM foundry and nonmemory products such as CMOS image sensors. He rates the partnership as a “win-win strategy for both parties”, citing synergies in combining Hynix’s processing technology and manufacturing productivity, and Fidelix’s design strength.

Last fall reports surfaced that Hynix wanted to sell off its M8 and M9 DRAM lines to shift more production to its 300mm work, but the company quickly indicated it would reinvest in the M7 line for a foray into nonmemory semiconductors — and weeks later signed a partnership with CMOS image sensor designer SiliconFile Technologies.

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