South Korea-based semiconductor giant SK Hynix is considering a U.S. manufacturing investment, a spokesperson confirmed to Manufacturing Dive Monday.
While the company stated it has yet to make a final decision regarding the investment, the Financial Times reported last week that the chipmaker plans to build a new semiconductor packaging plant in Indiana.
The plant will specialize in stacking standard dynamic random access memory chips to create high-bandwidth memory ones. They will then be integrated with Nvidia’s graphics processing units, which are used to train systems such as Open AI’s ChatGPT, the Financial Times reported.
SK Hynix currently produces its high-bandwidth memory chips in South Korea and then ships them to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to integrate into Nvidia’s GPUs and other TSMC-made processors, the Financial Times reported.
SK Hynix's parent company, SK Group has been planning major U.S. investments for over a year. In a July 2022 meeting with President Joe Biden, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won noted that the chipmaker planned to invest $22 billion in the U.S.
“[That investment will] grow their U.S. workforce from 4,000 to 20,000 workers by 2025, investing in a range of advanced technologies, some of which [Chey] already mentioned, from semiconductors to large-capacity batteries, to electric vehicle chargers, and to pharmaceuticals,” Biden said in the call.
In August, the company said it planned to invest $52 billion in U.S. operations by 2030. SK Group and its subsidiaries have already begun a substantial expansion in the country, including a $5 billion battery factory with Hyundai in Georgia and joint venture battery plants with Ford in Kentucky and Tennessee.
SK Hynix isn’t the only chipmaker looking at semiconductor production capacity in the Midwest. Intel is in the midst of building a $20 billion project outside Columbus, Ohio, which is now expected to finish construction in late 2026.
Other chip companies are investing in packaging capacity elsewhere in the country. Amkor is planning a $2 billion chip packaging facility in Peoria, Arizona.
The Biden administration has honed in on the importance of chip packaging in its CHIPS and Science Act funding. In November, the Commerce Department unveiled $3 billion in semiconductor packaging manufacturing funds. The first funding opportunity for the money is expected to be announced this year.