As the second largest manufacturer of DRAM, SK Hynix has shared plans for a $3.1 billion investment into a new manufacturing facility in South Korea. Following a $1.6 billion share buyback program, SK Hynix will be building out its capabilities even though there is currently an inflated supply of DRAM that is causing prices to drop.
Due to how quickly memory technologies are advancing, SK Hynix has not yet decided what type of memory will actually be produced at the new plant. Both DRAM and NAND memory are likely choices, but more specifically within those two classes are dozens of types of memory. With a scheduled ribbon cutting in October 2020, memory markets could change a great deal by then.
One of the reasons cited for building a new plant includes the need for more clean room space. The tooling and machinery required to produce smaller scale components is ironically getting larger, so that extremely fine precision is possible.
SK Hynix opened a new fabrication center in 2015 known as M14. A second facility is currently in the midst of construction in Cheongju, South Korea. The current plans for its third new facility dictate that the fabrication house will be built alongside SK Hynix's headquarters in the city of Icheon in the Gyeonggi province.
For end users, an overabundance of memory chips is a good sign. Declining prices should continue as competition will need to lower prices in order to make volume sales. As memory requirements are creeping upwards along with processor core counts, it is about time for pricing to drop.