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SK hynix and Solidigm Introduce First Collaborative Product

Today SK hynix and Solidigm jointly introduced their first collaborative product, a new enterprise solid-state drive (eSSD), P5530. This limited release product highlights the emerging partnership between SK hynix and Solidigm, which formed three months ago when SK hynix acquired Intel's NAND and SSD business. The P5530 combines SK hynix's 128-layer 4D NAND flash with Solidigm's SSD controller and firmware supporting a PCIe Gen 4 interface. The product is offered in 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB capacity options. SK hynix and Solidigm worked together to optimize performance with specific data center use cases and targeted deployments in mind.

Since the launch of Solidigm, the companies have partnered to forge a forward-moving strategy and co-develop products while reinforcing common values across the companies. Through the ongoing partnership and collaboration with Solidigm, SK hynix expects to enhance its NAND flash business competitiveness to the same extent as its DRAM business.

"With in-time demonstration of the collaborative product based on the combined competence of SK hynix and Solidigm, we aim to not only enhance our NAND flash business competitiveness but also speed up our "Inside America" strategy," said Kevin (Jongwon) Noh, President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at SK hynix. "SK hynix and Solidigm will continue to partner in order to optimize both companies' operations to create greater synergies."

SK Hynix Presents HBM3 DRAM at NVIDIA GTC 2022

SK hynix, was the only company that presented its HBM3, a high-end product known as the fastest DRAM in existence with the biggest capacity, at NVIDIA GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 2022, which took place on March 21~24. Known as the world's best-performing DRAM, HBM3 is the fourth generation of the HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) technology. SK hynix's HBM3 uses over 8,000 TSVs per stack (i.e. over 100,000 TSVs in a 12-Hi stack) and can feature up to 12-Hi stack, which is an upgrade from the previous HBM2E's 8-Hi stack. When fully stacked, it can offer up to 24 GB of capacity. With a 16-channel architecture, it runs at 6.4 Gbps, which is double that of HBM2E and which is the fastest in the world, expecting to further accelerate our digital life.

For instance, HBM has become a prerequisite for the Levels 4 and 5 of driving automation when it comes to autonomous vehicles, a topic that has garnered a great deal of attention nowadays. Also, HBM3 is expected to play an even bigger role along with the growth of High Performance Computing (HPC), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) markets fueled by the acceleration of digital transformation.

SK Hynix Shows Interest in Buying Arm via Consortium

Rather surprisingly, SK Hynix has said that it's interested in being part of a consortium to purchase Arm, during its annual shareholders meeting. Although several companies have voiced their interest in Arm, such as Qualcomm and even Intel, SK Hynix hasn't even been on the radar until now. However, the interesting part here is the bit about a consortium and Park Jung-ho, vice chairman and CEO of SK Hynix is quoted saying "I don't believe Arm is a company that could be bought by one company," by the Yonhap News Agency.

Although SK Hynix has only recently started working on the idea of purchasing Arm, most likely due to NVIDIA's deal to purchase Arm from SoftBank falling through, it looks like SK Hynix have a very different plan to that of NVIDIA. Park continued "It doesn't have to be buying a majority of its shares to be able to control the company," suggesting that even if SoftBank was to list Arm on the stock market as a standalone company, SK Hynix could try to take control of a majority of its shares. However, the mention of the consortium is something other industry players have proposed and it seems like the most sensible way to move forward, without causing negative effects for the Arm licensees in the long term.

SK hynix Develops PIM, Next-Generation AI Accelerator, the GDDR6-AIM

SK hynix announced on February 16 that it has developed PIM (processing-in-memory), a next-generation memory chip with computing capabilities. It has been generally accepted that memory chips store data and CPU or GPU, like human brain, process data. SK hynix, following its challenge to such notion and efforts to pursue innovation in the next-generation smart memory, has found a breakthrough solution with the development of the latest technology.

SK hynix plans to showcase its PIM development at the world's most prestigious semiconductor conference, 2022 ISSCC, in San Francisco at the end of this month. The company expects continued efforts for innovation of this technology to bring the memory-centric computing, in which semiconductor memory plays a central role, a step closer to the reality in devices such as smartphones.

SK hynix Reports Fiscal Year 2021 and Fourth Quarter Results

SK hynix today announced financial results for its fiscal year 2021 ended on December 31, 2021. The consolidated revenue of fiscal year 2021 was 42.998 trillion won, while the operating profit amounted to 12.410 trillion won and the net income 9.616 trillion won. Operating margin for the year was 29% and net margin was 22%. SK hynix achieved record high annual revenue since its foundation. This surpasses the revenue in 2018 when the semiconductor market was in its biggest boom.

Despite uncertain market conditions such as supply chain disruptions, demand for contactless IT technology has increased. Based on its technology and quality competitiveness, SK hynix managed to supply its products proactively, achieving record-breaking annual sales. For DRAM, SK hynix focused on securing profitability by flexibly responding to demands in PC and server applications in DRAM business. Furthermore, by developing the industry's first DDR5 and HBM3 DRAM, SK hynix has secured leading quality competitiveness in high value-added next-gen products.

JEDEC Publishes HBM3 Update to High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of the next version of its High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM standard: JESD238 HBM3, available for download from the JEDEC website. HBM3 is an innovative approach to raising the data processing rate used in applications where higher bandwidth, lower power consumption and capacity per area are essential to a solution's market success, including graphics processing and high-performance computing and servers.

SK Telecom, SK Square and SK hynix Launch 'SK ICT Alliance' for Synergies

At CES 2022, SK Telecom, SK Square and SK hynix announced the launch of the 'SK ICT Alliance' to jointly develop and invest in ICT convergence technologies, and create global market opportunities. The alliance comes as SK hynix celebrates the tenth year since joining the SK Group and SK Square successfully spun off from SK Telecom, marking the beginning of a new era of synergies between semiconductor, telecommunication and investment.

With the aim to secure global competitiveness in diverse ICT areas such as semiconductors, 5G and AI, the three companies plan to carry out joint business activities in the global market by leveraging SK Square's innovative investment, SK Telecom's AI and 5G technologies and SK hynix's future semiconductor technologies. From January 2022, the three companies will operate 'Synergy Council' chaired by Vice Chairman Park Jung-ho, and joined by Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SK Telecom, and Lee Seok-Hee, CEO of SK hynix. The Synergy Council will be the highest decision making body, where the executives discuss R&D cooperation and joint investments in semiconductor and ICT areas, and promote global market expansion.

SK hynix Announces PCI-Express 4.0 Platinum P41 Solid State Drives

SK hynix today unveiled the Platinum P41, the fastest M.2 NVMe SSD under the NAND flash and DRAM manufacturer's own marquee. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive is targeted at the DIY PC enthusiast segment, and is the company's first client-segment drive to take advantage of the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface. The drive combines an in-house controller design by the company, codenamed "Aries," with the company's latest 176-layer 3D NAND flash, and a DDR4 DRAM cache.

The SK hynix Platinum P41 comes in three variants based on capacity—500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. All three feature a compact design. The company didn't release variant-specific performance numbers, but made broad performance claims for the series. It offers sequential reads of up to 7,000 MB/s, with up to 6,500 MB/s sequential writes, up to 1.4 million IOPS 4K random reads; and up to 1.3 million IOPS 4K random writes. The endurance claims for the 500 GB variant are 500 TBW, for the 1 TB are 750 TBW, and for the 2 TB variant are 1,200 TBW. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties. The company will release pricing and availability later into Q1 2022 (before April).

Update Jan 4th: Additional technical details on the 176-layer NAND flash can be found here and here.

Hynix also confirmed to us that the Platinum P41 uses Hynix components exclusively: "The P41 uses TLC, SK hynix Aries controller, SK hynix NAND & DRAM." This also clarifies that the drive is TLC, so there's no chance for stealth component changes to QLC like on some other vendors.

SK Hynix Completes the First Phase of Intel NAND and SSD Business Acquisition

SK hynix today announced that it has completed the first phase of the transaction to acquire Intel's NAND and solid-state drive (SSD) business. Following the recent merger clearance from China's State Administration for Market Regulation on Dec. 22, SK hynix closed the first phase of the transaction by acquiring Intel's SSD business and the Dalian NAND flash manufacturing facility in China. In exchange, SK hynix will pay US $7 billion in consideration.

In the second phase of the transaction, SK hynix will acquire from Intel the remaining assets in relation to its NAND business, including IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees for NAND flash wafers, the Dalian facility workforce, and the other associated tangible / intangible assets. Closing of the second phase is expected to occur in or after March 2025 with the remaining payment of US $2 billion, which will complete the entire deal.

SK hynix Receives Merger Clearances for Intel NAND and SSD Business Acquisition

SK hynix Inc. today announced that it has received merger clearance from the Chinese antitrust authority, State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) for its acquisition of Intel NAND and SSD business. With SAMR's merger clearance SK hynix has received all required merger clearances in eight jurisdictions from the relevant competition authorities.

SK hynix will continue to prepare to close the transaction including achieving all of the closing conditions. The consideration for the 1st Closing is USD 7 billion. Upon the 1st Closing, SK hynix will acquire the Intel SSD business (including SSD-associated IP and employees) and Dalian facility. SK hynix sincerely welcomes and appreciates SAMR's merger clearance for the deal. SK hynix will enhance its competitiveness of NAND Flash and SSD business by continuing the remaining post-merger integration process.

SK hynix Becomes the Industry's First to Ship 24Gb DDR5 Samples

SK hynix today announced that it has shipped samples of 24 Gigabit (Gb) DDR5* DRAM with the industry's largest density for a single DRAM chip. The announcement of SK hynix releasing the industry's largest density DDR5 chip comes in just 14 months after the Company became the first to release DDR5 DRAM in October 2020, further solidifying the chipmaker's technological leadership in DDR5.

The new 24 Gb DDR5 was produced with the cutting-edge 1 anm technology that utilizes EUV process. It has a density of 24Gb per chip, which is up from the existing density of 16 Gb in 1 ynm DDR5, with improved production efficiency and increased speed by up to 33%. In addition, SK hynix managed to reduce the product's power consumption by *25% compared to existing products while lowering energy use in manufacturing through enhanced production efficiency. SK hynix expects the product to bring about reduction in carbon emissions as well, which is meaningful in the context of ESG management.

NAND Flash Revenue Rises by 15% QoQ for 3Q21 Thanks to Demand from Smartphone and Data Center Markets, Says TrendForce

The growth of the NAND Flash market in 3Q21 was primarily driven by strong demand from the data center and smartphone industries, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. More specifically, NAND Flash suppliers' hyperscaler and enterprise clients kept up their procurement activities that began in 2Q21 in order to deploy products based on new processor platforms. Major smartphone brands, on the other hand, likewise expanded their NAND Flash procurement activities during the quarter as they prepared to release their new flagship models. As such, clients in both server and smartphone industries made significant contributions to the revenue growth of the NAND Flash industry for 3Q21. At the same time, however, suppliers also warned that orders from PC OEMs began showing signs of decline. On the whole, the industry's quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipment increased by nearly 11% QoQ for 3Q21, and the overall NAND Flash ASP rose by nearly 4% QoQ for the same quarter. Thanks to rising prices and expanding shipments, the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue increased by 15% QoQ to a new record high of US$18.8 billion in 3Q21.

Global OSAT Revenue for 3Q21 Reaches US$8.89 Billion Thanks to Peak Season Demand, Says TrendForce

As the global vaccination rate rose, and border restrictions in Europe and North America eased, social activities also began to enter a period of recovery, with the consumer electronics market seemingly ready for the arrival of the traditional peak season in 2H21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. At the same time, however, the global supply chain was affected by delays in maritime transport, skyrocketing shipping costs, and component shortages, in addition to already-prohibitive price hikes for certain components in 1H21. Given the parallel rise in both material and manufacturing costs, the market for end products has not undergone the expected cyclical upturn in 2H21. Even so, the overall demand for and shipment of smartphones, notebook computers, and monitors experienced QoQ increases in 3Q21, thereby driving up businesses for major OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) companies. For 3Q21, the revenues of the top 10 OSAT companies reached US$8.89 billion, a 31.6% YoY increase.

EVGA RTX 3090 Kingpin & Intel Core i9-12900K Set New 3DMark Port Royal Record

The 3DMark Port Royal single card benchmark has a new record of 20,014 set by South Korean overclocker biso biso for Team EVGA. The overclocker used an Intel Core i9-12900K running at 5.4 GHz on an EVGA Z690 Dark Kingpin motherboard paired with the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 Kingpin overclocked to 2,895 MHz. The system also featured 16 GB of DDR5 memory running at 6000 MHz from SK Hynix along with liquid nitrogen for cooling and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme thermal paste on the CPU and GPU. This new record beats the previous record of 19,600 also from biso biso which featured the Core i9-10900K and RTX 3090 Kingpin.
EVGAArmed with the latest hardware, including an EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N motherboard, and an EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 K|NGP|N running at a blistering 2,895 MHz GPU clock, extreme overclocker "biso biso" set a new single-GPU standard for 3DMark Port Royal with a score of 20,014! This marks the first ever 3DMark Port Royal (single card) score over 20,000 and a testiment to the capabilities of the highest performing EVGA products.

SK hynix Receives ISO 26262 FSM Certification

SK hynix announced that it has received an ISO 26262: 2018 FSM (Functional Safety Management) certification, the international standard for functional safety in automotive semiconductors. The global automotive functional safety certification institute, TUV Nord, conducted the assessment. Both companies commemorated the distinction by hosting an online ceremony. In attendance at the ceremony were Daeyong Shim, Head of Automotive Business, and Junho Song, Head of Quality System, from SK hynix and Bianca Pfuff, Profit Center Manager Functional Safety and Deputy Head of Certification Body SEECERT, and Josef Neumann, Senior Project Manager Functional Safety, from TUV Nord.

The ISO 26262 is the international standard for automobile functional safety established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2011 to prevent accidents caused by automotive electrical and electronic systems failures. This certification awarded to SK hynix, ISO 26262: 2018, is the latest version with additional requirements for automotive semiconductors. In the automotive industry, safety, quality, and reliability are paramount. Therefore, it is becoming essential that producers of car electronic device related to safety meet ISO 26262 standards.

KLEVV Reveals New DDR5 Standard and Gaming Memory

KLEVV, an emerging memory brand introduced by Essencore, today announced the latest addition to its lineup of computer memory upgrades with new DDR5 memory series, including DDR5 standard memory and signature DDR5 series of overclocking/gaming RGB memory. KLEVV DDR5 memory offers assurance of QVL testing with major motherboard brands' Z690 platforms that support the latest Intel 12th Generation 'Alder Lake' Core Processors.

KLEVV DDR5 standard desktop memory (U-DIMM) will adopt SK Hynix chips and will first launch in a 16 GB capacity with JEDEC standard frequencies of 4,800 MHz CL40-40-40 at a power-efficient 1.1 V. KLEVV DDR5 standard desktop memory kits have passed QVL testing with Z690 motherboards from leading partners including ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI, assuring outstanding compatibility for PC builders. Larger capacity 32 GB modules and standard memory for laptops (SO-DIMM) will follow soon.

SK hynix Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results

SK hynix Inc. (or 'the Company', www.skhynix.com) today announced financial results for its third quarter 2021 ended on September 30, 2021. The consolidated revenue of the third quarter 2021 was 11.805 trillion won, while the operating profit amounted to 4.172 trillion won and the net income 3.315 trillion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 35% and net margin was 28%.

SK hynix achieved record high quarterly revenue since its foundation, and regained operating profit more than 4 trillion won after two and a half years since the fourth quarter of 2018. The increased semiconductor memory demand for server and smartphone (mobile) applications, alongside the improved product prices, contributed to the Company's record-breaking quarterly revenue.

SK hynix Announces Development of HBM3 DRAM

SK hynix Inc. announced that it has become the first in the industry to successfully develop the High Bandwidth Memory 3, the world's best-performing DRAM. HBM3, the fourth generation of the HBM technology with a combination of multiple DRAM chips vertically connected, is a high value product that innovatively raises the data processing rate.

The latest development, which follows the start of mass production of HBM2E in July last year, is expected to help consolidate the company's leadership in the market. SK hynix was also the first in the industry to start mass production of HBM2E. SK hynix's HBM3 is not only the fastest DRAM in the world, but also comes with the biggest capacity and significantly improved level of quality.

List of Validated DDR5 for Intel Alder Lake Leaks

If you're looking at getting your hands on some DDR5 memory for your new Alder Lake build once it launches, a leak of validated RAM has popped up on Twitter, that should give you an idea of what to expect. The list is only a couple of weeks old and it's not what we'd call a long list, as it only covers five companies, out of which three are actual DRAM manufacturers and one is a subsidiary of one of those companies, there are no real surprises here.

All the DDR5 modules tested are rated at 4800 MHz and are either 8, 16 or 32 GB in size, with all modules using 16 Gbit chips. All modules were tested with timings of 40-39-39 at 1.1 V. Kingston is the only outlier here, since they're not a DRAM manufacturer, unlike SK hynix, Samsung and Micron/Crucial. Intel is listing all the modules as non ECC, which should put an end to the claims of all DDR5 being ECC memory.

SK hynix Launches 2TB Gold P31 Ultra-low-power Solid State Drive

Come August 17, SK hynix's best-selling "Gold P31" line of Solid State Drives (SSDs) will be complemented with a 2 TB capacity version. Gold P31, SK hynix's PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, has garnered consistent praise from professional tech reviewers for its unique performance and power efficiency benefits. The drive released last year in 1 TB and 500 GB capacities, and is now adding a 2 TB option for users of high-capacity storage including gamers and content creators. The 2 TB version will be marked with a sleek, black-color PCB (Printed Circuit Board) instead of the usual green.

The 2 TB Gold P31 will offer 3,500 MB/s in sequential reads and 3,200 MB/s in sequential writes, the highest from a PCIe Gen3 drive, as well as an industry-leading endurance rating of 1,200 TBW (for 2 TB capacity; Terabytes Written: total amount of data an SSD can write in its lifetime), thus providing performance, capacity, power efficiency, and reliability all around. With read speeds of 172.2 MB/s per watt of power, the Gold P31 is indeed 434% more efficient than comparable products (for 1 TB capacity; Tallis, Billy. "The Best NVMe SSD for Laptops and Notebooks: SK hynix Gold P31 1 TB SSD Reviewed." AnandTech. August 27, 2020).

SK hynix Reports Second Quarter 2021 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its second quarter 2021 ended on June 30, 2021. The consolidated revenue of the second quarter 2021 was 10.322 trillion won, while the operating profit amounted to 2.695 trillion won and the net income 1.988 trillion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 26% and net margin was 19%.

It was the first time in three years that SK hynix recorded the quarterly revenue of more than 10 trillion won as the memory market condition, which began to recover earlier this year, continued to improve in the second quarter. The company last logged more than 10 trillion won in the third quarter of 2018 when the memory market was booming.

DRAM Prices for 3Q21 Projected to Undergo Minor QoQ Increase of 3-8%: Trendforce

As third quarters have typically been peak seasons for the production of various end-products, the sufficiency ratio of DRAM is expected to undergo a further decrease in 3Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, DRAM buyers are now carrying a relatively high DRAM inventory due to their amplified purchases of electronic components in 1H21. The QoQ increase in DRAM contract prices are hence expected to slightly narrow from 18-23% in 2Q21 to 3-8% in 3Q21. Looking ahead to 4Q21, TrendForce believes that DRAM supply will continue to rise, thereby leading to either a further narrowing of price hikes or pressure constraining the potential price hike of DRAM products.

From the perspective of demand, the stay-at-home economy has resulted in persistently high demand for notebook computers. Although discrepancies still exist among notebook brands' inventory levels of various components, these brands are still making an aggressive attempt at maximizing their production of notebooks. However, as most of these brands are still carrying about 8-10 weeks' worth of PC DRAM inventory (which is relatively high), PC DRAM purchasing strategies from the buyers' side will therefore remain relatively conservative. From the perspective of supply, due to the rising demand for server DRAM, the production capacity allocated to PC DRAM is still in a severe supply crunch. Hence, DRAM suppliers are firm in their attitudes to raise PC DRAM quotes, and TrendForce expects the price negotiations between PC DRAM buyers and suppliers in 3Q21 to become both lengthier and more difficult as a result, with contract prices likely finalized at the end of July. Even so, what is now certain is that both sides have reached some level of understanding regarding the ongoing price hike of PC DRAM products. TrendForce forecasts a 3-8% increase in PC DRAM contract prices for 3Q21.

SK hynix Starts Mass Production of 1anm DRAM Using EUV Equipment

SK hynix announced that it has started this month mass production of the 8 Gigabit (Gb) LPDDR4 mobile DRAM based on the 1anm, which is the fourth generation of the 10 nm process technology. As the semiconductor industry classifies the 10 nm DRAM products, naming them after the alphabets, the 1a technology is the fourth generation, following the first three generations of the 1x, 1y, and 1z. SK hynix plans to provide the latest mobile DRAM products to smartphone manufacturers from the second half of 2021. This is the first time that SK hynix adopted the EUV equipment for mass production after proving the stability of the cutting edge lithography technology through partial adoption for its 1ynm DRAM production.

As technology migration continues to ultra-micro levels, an increasing number of semiconductor companies are adopting the EUV equipment for the photo process where circuit patterns are drawn on the wafer surfaces. Industry experts believe that a semiconductor company's leadership in technology will depend on how it can fully take advantage of the EUV equipment. SK hynix plans to use the EUV technology for production of all its 1anm DRAM products going forward as it has proved the stability of the process.

AMD 4700S Desktop Kit Features PlayStation 5 SoC Without iGPU

Previously, we have assumed that AMD 4700S desktop kit is based on Xbox Series X APU. Today, according to the findings of Bodnara, who managed to access one of these units, and we got some interesting discoveries. The chip powering the system is actually the PlayStation 5 SoC, which features AMD Zen 2 based system architecture, with 8 cores and 16 threads that can boost up to 3.2 GHz. The board that was tested features SK Hynix GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gbps, placed on the backside of the board. The APU is attached to AMD A77E Fusion Controller Hub (FCH), which was the one powering Xbox One "Durango" SoC, leading us to previously believe that the AMD 4700S is derived from an Xbox Series X system.

The graphics of this APU are disabled, however, it was the same variant of RDNA 2 GPU used by the PlayStation 5. Right out of the box, the system is equipped with a discrete GPU coming in a form of the Radeon 550, and this configuration was tested by the Bodnara team. You can find the images of the system and some performance results below.
Performance:

SK Hynix Details its Upcoming HBM3 Memory: 665 GB/s per Stack

SK Hynix is at the forefront of developing the next generation of stacked high-bandwidth memory, the HBM3 standard. Succeeding the current HBM2e standard, HBM3 will power next-generation HPC and AI processors in high-density multi-chip modules. A Tom's Hardware report citing information from SK Hynix reveals two key details about the new standard. For starters, it could offer per-pin data-rates of 5.2 Gbps, a 44% increase over the 3.6 Gbps that HBM2e caps out at. This results in a per-stack bandwidth of 665 GB/s, compared to 480 GB/s for the HBM2e. A processor with four such stacks (over a 4096-bit wide bus), would hence enjoy 2.66 TB/s of memory bandwidth. It's likely that HBM3 stacks from SK Hynix could implement the DBI Ultra 2.5D/3D hybrid bonding interconnect technology licensed from Xperi Corp.
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