SK hynix to diversify chip biz, collaborate with Qualcomm

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SK hynix, a South Korean memory chip maker, has said it will invest in the joint establishment of a chip firm in the US with two other subsidiaries of South Korean conglomerate SK Group to diversify its product portfolio and expand its global business.

The world’s second-largest memory chip maker said the new company, SAPEON Ito be established with SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile carrier by subscriptions, and SK Square the investment spinoff of SK Telecom, will introduce the artificial intelligence chip SAPEON, developed by SK Telecom in 2020, in the global AI semiconductor market, reports Yonhap news agency.

The investment decision was the result of the SK ICT Alliance formed by the three companies “to jointly develop and invest in information and communication technologies and create global market opportunities”, the company said.

“The alliance comes as SK hynix celebrates the 10th 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,” it explained.

The three companies also plan to create and run a 1 trillion won ($830 million) fund this year to invest in the fields of AI, metaverse, chips, and blockchain, the company said, in order to “stay ahead of the convergence trend within the ICT industry and discover unicorns that can change the industrial landscape, which will lead to valuable business synergies”.

As part of its global expansion plan, SK hynix said it was seeking to collaborate with other global players, including Qualcomm.

Park Jung-ho, vice chairman and CEO of SK hynix and SK Square, said he met with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon on January 6 to discuss a potential partnership in the fields of data center applications, high-speed memory for PCs, 5G business, metaverse and smart factories.

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