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SK Group to Invest 80 Trillion Won in AI and Semiconductors by 2026

South Korea's second-largest conglomerate aims to enhance its chipmaking capabilities and AI services
South Korea
s 034730.KO s 000660.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000 Blue Chip 150 OM 60 Semicon 75 Tech 350
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South Korea’s SK Group has unveiled an ambitious plan to invest 80 trillion won ($56 billion) by 2026, focusing on artificial intelligence and semiconductor technologies. This strategic move aims to bolster its chipmaking unit, SK Hynix, positioning it as a key supplier of advanced memory solutions for leading AI companies, including Nvidia.

During a recent two-day executive meeting, SK Group’s leadership agreed to fund this investment through enhanced profitability, business optimization, and synergy creation. The company plans to channel these funds into developing high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips, data centers, and personalized AI assistant services, aiming to fortify its supply chains in emerging technologies.

SK Hynix has been a pioneer in the HBM sector, having developed the first HBM chips a decade ago for video gaming applications. Today, the company is expected to capture over half of the global HBM market, primarily supplying Nvidia. This surge is reflected in SK Hynix’s stock, which has surged 65% this year, vastly outpacing the 4% rise of its rival, Samsung Electronics.

Despite these advancements, SK faces stiff competition. Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip maker, is striving to become a verified Nvidia HBM supplier, while U.S.-based Micron Technology is also vying for a larger market share. Analysts highlight SK Hynix’s superior chip-stacking technology as a competitive advantage in this dynamic landscape.

While the chipmaking unit flourishes, SK’s battery business continues to struggle, reporting significant operating losses due to low demand and high investment costs. This diversification underscores the conglomerate’s broad reach, encompassing telecommunications, energy, and various other sectors, with combined assets of 334.4 trillion won across 219 affiliates as of May.

As SK Group navigates these investments, it remains to be seen how effectively it can balance its expansive portfolio while maintaining its leading edge in the AI and semiconductor industries.

 

 

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