SK hynix Recruits Former Intel Veterans To Research NAND Chips – Report

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Aiming to gain a stronger presence in the artificial intelligence market, South Korean memory chip manufacturer SK hynix is expanding operations on the West Coast. The firm has recruited top former Intel and AMD executives to make them department heads at a NAND memory development facility in California suggests a report. SK hynix’s greater focus on the NAND market comes as the firm expands its collaboration with Samsung to embed an image sensor on an A.I. chip.

Image sensing is one of the biggest use cases of A.I. and machine learning, and through its partnership with Samsung, SK hynix aims to target Sony’s commanding presence in the image sensing market and evolving use cases such as on device A.I.

SK hynix Brings Three Former Intel Executives On Board To Develop high performance NAND Memory – Report

When it comes to running A.I. models, not only are the processors important but so are the storage chips that store data used to train and develop models. The faster these storage chips are, the greater performance A.I. engineers can squeeze out from their models. This fact has created optimism about the future of memory companies as the demand for their storage products will also grow if A.I. models become commonplace in the business world.

One storage product that is widely preferred is NAND. NAND is faster than other storage mediums, which means that overall application performance is better for heavy computing workloads. Seeking to capitalize on this, SK hynix is expanding its NAND research in California, according to a report from Business Korea.

Industry sources speaking to the firm outline that SK hynix’s NAND Development America division has hired 30 researchers to focus on developing new NAND technologies. This research division has a special hierarchy with little executive involvement to allow the researchers to focus on investigating novel areas of data storage technology.

Intel Core Ultra

Specifically, Business Korea’s report claims that former Intel senior lead engineer Richard Pasto, memory design expert Rezaul Haque and Erika Shore are some new researchers at SK hynix’s NAND research facility. All the former Intel employees are division heads at SK hynix NAND development in California.

Industry sources also believe that SK hynix is targeting a new segment of the A.I. market called on device A.I. with its research efforts. Since on device A.I. will need to store at least some data locally as opposed to linking with an external server, the fast performance offered by NAND technologies can become crucial in this segment.

SK and Intel have a long past when it comes to NAND memory. Seeking to raise cash after troubles at its chip fabrication, Intel sold its NAND business division to SK in October 2020. The South Korean company completed the first phase of this acquisition a year later, and through the deal it got hold of Intel’s NAND manufacturing assets in China.

A.I. products also played a crucial role during SK hynix’s latest quarterly earnings. During this three month period, the firm announced that due to A.I. product sales, its revenue grew 24% sequentially in a quarter that saw net profit tank by roughly KRW3 trillion to convert into a loss in Q3. SK hynix’s pre prepared comments also saw the firm stress the fact that the first quarter represented a bottom for its sales and they should improve now due to greater demand for high performance products.

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