By Kim Yoo-chul
SK hynix, the world's No. 2 computer memory chipmaker announced Wednesday it would start mass production of advanced flash-type chips for use in data-intensive Web-enabled devices.
The company, which is affiliated with SK Group, plans to produce three-dimensional (3D) flash memory chips using fine-tuned vertical-stacked-array-transistor (VSAT) technology, according to an SK hynix official.
''SK hynix will ship samples to our clients as we've successfully tested the chip quality,'' said a high-ranked executive.
VSAT development has been led by co-CEO Kwon Oh-chul and SK hynix has filed related patents to establish a lead over its rivals.
The move comes amid explosive growth for Web-connected consumer electronics such as smartphones and tablets.
The flash chip has a simple cell structure allowing higher density and more memory capacity, which is ideal as they are durable and able to withstand mechanical shocks, temperature variations and high pressure.
But major chipmakers need to further cut costs to respond to the rising demand for key clients such as Apple and leading PC makers.
''As far as I know, all major semiconductor companies are investing more in the development of 3D flash memory chips. SK hynix is trying hard to mass produce them as early as possible,'' said SK hynix Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Park Sung-wook.
Market leader Samsung Electronics will produce 3D flash memory chips in its plant in Xi'an, China, after it completes construction of the facility.