SK Group has started to propel its own production of high-purity hydrogen fluoride, which is used for making semiconductors. With SK Hynix, the world's No. 2 DRAM maker, as its affiliate, SK Group is focusing its capabilities on securing replacement sources across the board.
"We are currently working on related development with a goal of supplying high-purity hydrogen fluoride samples at the end of this year or early next year. It was highlighted by Japan's export regulations against Korea on key materials for semiconductors and displays, and its production of high purity hydrogen fluoride has been planned for a long time," said an SK official.
SK Hynix is the world's second-largest DRAM operator after Samsung Electronics, with a 30 percent market share, but its recent performance has been poor due to decreased demands for memory semiconductors.
On top of that, there is a sense of crisis that Japan's export regulations will overlap and that the semiconductor business could collapse if it fails to solve such problems.
SK Hynix is currently testing domestic products as well as Chinese and Taiwanese ones to replace high-purity hydrogen fluoride from Japan.
Lee Seok-hee, CEO of SK Hynix, left for Japan on July 21 to discuss the supply and demand of raw materials with Japanese companies, while SK is also working on ways to address export regulations with Japanese companies.
Kim Dong-sup, president of SK Hynix's external cooperation division, also left the country on July 16 to discuss the supply and demand of semiconductor materials and returned to Korea on July 18.