[THE INVESTOR] SK hynix confirmed on Nov. 8 it will start mass-producing the 48-layer 3D-NAND chips from later this month, becoming the world’s second chipmaker to do so following Samsung Electronics.
With the planned production, the company’s NAND chip output is expected to more than double from the current 10,000 units of the 12-inch wafers per month to some 20,000 to 30,000 units at the end of this year.
“We plan to start the sale within the year,” a company spokesperson told The Investor.
The non-volatile NAND chips are used for long-term storage in smartphones and computers. SK hynix is shifting its focus from DRAM that is used for temporary data storage to NAND chips whose demand is soaring on cloud and Internet of Things services.
DRAM sales still make up almost 70 percent of the company’s chip sales.
While its rivals such as Toshiba and Micron are still struggling with production of the latest 48-layer NAND chips, SK hynix is already working on the next-generation 72-layer design with aims to start production in the latter half of next year.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)