SK Hynix and Broadcom set up 1st-ever all-flash memory chip consortium

South Korea’s SK Hynix, one of the world’s biggest chip makers, and U.S. tech giant, Broadcom, announced a new agreement on Wednesday to expand their research cooperation around hybrid and all-flash memory technology.

The agreement will expand the scope of SK Hynix’s hybrid and all-flash memory research by extending the coverage of their joint chip technology to serve the global market for solid-state memory devices, SK Hynix said in a press release.

Solid-state memory devices use flash memory chips, not the conventional way that amorphous magnetic devices in a magnetic solid-state memory die tend to fail, according to Broadcom. The devices use platter-type solid state drives, which are made up of individual high-speed NAND cells instead of the moving magnetic parts of traditional hard disk drives.

Rapid adoption of solid-state drives in smart phones, laptops and other portable devices has led to a surge in sales. NAND flash memory is the most common type of chip used in solid-state drives.

“SK Hynix is focusing on bringing better processing capacity to mainstream storage solutions and to secure longer product life cycle through improved packaging process and technology,” Chan-Tae Lee, chief technology officer at SK Hynix, said in the statement.

Under the deal, SK Hynix will create 10 new NAND cell packaging lines for NAND SSD technology at one of its R&D facilities in South Korea. Broadcom will develop SSD cell applications using their own package technology across industries such as automotive, networking, data center and consumer electronics.

Broadcom said it was enhancing its portfolio of hybrid and all-flash storage solutions and expanding its coverage for applications to meet growing demand for solid-state storage technology in data centers and connected devices.

SK Hynix and Broadcom have been in talks to combine their memory businesses in order to integrate operations and “create a unifying semiconductor business going forward,” people familiar with the matter told Reuters in July.

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