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Mar 27, 2012

Memory Maker Expands Horizons, Hynix Becomes SK Group Member

We've learned that the SK Group, an industrial conglomerate from South Korea, has invested an undisclosed sum of money into Hynix Semiconductor. 

What this means is that Hynix will henceforth be called SK Hynix and will start making other sorts of semiconductors besides memory chips. 

The company is already a major supplier of such units, which include NAND and DRAM as the most important types. 

Unfortunately, even though NAND has been doing more or less well, the DRAM market continues to disappoint. 

Granted, Hynix is not nearly close to landing in Elpida's position (bankruptcy). 

Still, it could use some other business outlets, and the new investment will enable precisely that. 

“This is a historic moment. SK had to forgo earlier plans to enter the memory chip business due to the oil crisis decades ago, but is now more than happy to embrace Hynix as a new family member,’’ said SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won. 

For its part, SK Group will be involved in more than energy and telecommunications, so it can start thinking up ways of combining the technologies of those fields with semiconductors. 

“After the briefing, I discussed various pending issues such as the way to provide SK’s car batteries to electric vehicle manufacturers in Thailand. That’s synergy,’’ said Chey, who is also the Co-CEO of SK Hynix.” 

All in all, as part of the agreement, soon enough SK Hynix will begin making custom chips while better managing its DRAM, NAND and CMOS image sensor businesses. 

“SK Group’s previous attempts to advance into international markets have failed due to the lack of corporate image. But SK has secured more room to effectively handle overseas businesses because SK bought Hynix’s good brand image. The SK Chairman will use SK Hynix as a tool to tap more chances for global businesses,’’ said an unnamed SK Hynix executive.


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