Bits + chips
Korea memory chip output value up slightly in 1Q20, says Digitimes Research
Chiawen Chang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

The output value of South Korea's memory chip industry grew about 1% sequentially in the first quarter of 2020, thanks mainly to a ramp-up in demand arising from the stay-at-home economy, according to Digitimes Research.

The coronavirus pandemic has been stimulating demand for notebooks enabling distance learning and remote work, and servers and other data-intensive applications, which help offset weakness in smartphone sales, said Digitimes Research.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix saw their memory businesses generate a combined KRW20.1 trillion (US$16.4 billion) in revenue in the first quarter of 2020, up 1.1% on quarter and 10% on year. Their combined memory business revenue, representing the overall output value of South Korea's memory chip industry, is forecast to register another sequential and on-year increases in the second quarter, Digitimes Research indicated.

Samsung and SK Hynix both saw operating margins generated from their memory businesses edge up sequentially in the first quarter. Growing demand for server applications, coupled with production yield rate improvement, led to the operation margin growth during the quarter.

Samsung and SK Hynix will put their capex focuses on the development of EUV process technologies as well as production optimization this year.

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