Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Numonyx B.V. today announced a five-year agreement to expand its joint development programs for the fast-growing NAND flash memory segment. The companies will broaden NAND product lines and bring future product and technology innovations designed to address challenges facing NAND technology over the next five years.
Under the new agreement, Hynix and Numonyx will broaden the scope of their joint development efforts to deliver leading NAND memory technology and products and combine resources to accelerate the development of future NAND technologies and solutions. Also they will collaborate on mobile DRAM used in multichip packages for mobile phones.
“To become successful in the rapidly evolving semiconductor industry, addressing technology issues jointly rather than independently reduces the risk by leveraging the best of both companies,” said Jong-Kap Kim, Chairman and CEO of Hynix. “Future joint technology development will be the key success factor in our alliance and we expect to make significant progress in developing memory solutions by focusing on the introduction of new products through systematic co-development in product, software and controller areas. Together, Hynix and Numonyx will develop a complete range of products on leading edge technologies that will enable both companies to win in the NAND segment. We’ll now have one of the broadest NAND design communities in the world and we look forward to continued success as we now work to develop new NAND memory solutions today and in the future.”
“Success and growth in the NAND segment over the next five years will require a unique set of capabilities that we believe we can achieve with Hynix,” said Brian Harrison, president and chief executive officer at Numonyx. “By combining our expert resources, engineering activities and Hynix’s absolute focus on driving cost, we believe we’ll have leading-edge technology, cost-effective and scalable manufacturing, industry leading memory system “know-how” and a history of bringing system-level NAND solutions to market very quickly. The complementary expertise from Hynix will certainly help strengthen our NAND position in the wireless segment in particular.”
Manufacturing NAND memory is getting more complex as the technology scales, or moves to smaller and smaller manufacturing lithography nodes. Charge-Trap Device NAND is anticipated to replace the current mainstream Floating Gate NAND technology and Numonyx’s experience in NOR Flash-based technology should contribute greatly to this evolution. Moreover, memory suppliers in the next five years will need to have a deeper understanding of the device physics and overall memory system level solutions to overcome the challenges. Effective utilization of Numonyx’s software expertise will help in this effort and make a positive impact in market penetration and increasing market share for integrated NAND solutions such as MicroSD, eMMC, and SSD. The synergies between Hynix and Numonyx, combined with Numonyx’s 40 year legacy of solving difficult non-volatile memory challenges, and experience developing firmware, microcontroller and other system solutions will be key factors in helping to solve the limitations of the technology–moving NAND from raw silicon to systems.
In addition to the collaboration on NAND, the companies also currently have a joint manufacturing initiative for the production of 300 mm low power mobile DRAM in their Chinese Wuxi joint venture. Mobile DRAM, commonly stacked with non-volatile memory in multi-chip packages is used by both companies in solutions for mobile devices. This collaboration on mobile DRAM will allow both companies to ship more cost effective, low power multi-chip memory subsystems to customers requiring small form factors. With the introduction of world’s fastest 1 Gb LPDDR2 product in April, Hynix is now the industry leader in mobile DRAM products in terms of product diversity, technology leadership, performance, and compatibility with SDR/DDR interfaces allowing for single chip solutions.