SK-Hynix to boost Qualcomm link
By Kim Yoo-chul
Hynix Semiconductor, under its new name SK-Hynix, plans to renew its business relationship with U.S. chip giant Qualcomm, one of the most influential companies in mobile communications technology.
The firm hopes that a strengthened partnership with Qualcomm will allow it to better exploit increased chip demand created by the growth of mobile Internet devices.
Qualcomm officials will visit Seoul next month to meet senior executives of SK Telecom, the country’s biggest mobile-phone operator and parent company of SK-Hynix, to discuss related issues, a senior SK Telecom executive said Tuesday.
One scenario is that Hynix will supply mobile DRAM chips to Qualcomm to manufacture one-chip solutions built around its applications processors for mobile devices.
Qualcomm doesn’t have chip manufacturing lines and relies on outsourcing to such as SK-Hynix’s archrival, Samsung Electronics.
``Senior Qualcomm executives are preparing to meet with officials at SK Telecom and SK-Hynix and the discussions involve plans to boost the latter’s capability in non-memory chips,’’ he said.
``It’s possible for the meeting with Hynix. After acquiring Hynix Semiconductor, SK Telecom is also seeing its partnerships expand with chipset makers and Qualcomm is obviously a crucial partner.’’
Kim Seung-soo, a spokesman at Qualcomm Korea, declined to confirm.
SK-Hynix spokesman Sohn Kyung-bae said that the two chipmakers have been maintaining a close relationship through technology cooperation in recent years.
``Qualcomm is keen to sell telecom chipsets that provide a broad range of functionality amid the rising demand for smartphones and touch-screen tablets. SK-Hynix is an ideal fit as a business partner,’’ said another SK executive.
`` SK Telecom has been keeping a close business partnership with Qualcomm and it is getting stronger amid the rise of the Long-Term Evolution embedded digital devices.’’