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Back to CES: SK hynix Focuses on Ways Technology Can Impact Carbon Reduction Efforts

By January 6, 2022 No Comments
With every new year comes a fresh sense of optimism about the future, a moment to focus on what’s to come, instead of what we’re leaving behind.

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With every new year comes a fresh sense of optimism about the future, a moment to focus on what’s to come, instead of what we’re leaving behind. And so, it’s fitting that the annual Consumer Electronics Show would take place in early January to provide the world with a preview of the products, services and technologies that will impact our lives in the year – and years – ahead.

Back in-person at the Las Vegas Convention Center after a Covid-prompted virtual-only show last year, CES remains a one-of-a-kind, a spotlight show where devices have long grabbed the headlines. The event, starting January 5 in strict compliance of the federal and local health authorities’ guidelines, is taking place in a relatively calmer mood, but still attracting visitors eager to learn the new technology trend.

It’s important to remember, however, that the “E” in CES stands for Electronics and that none of these attention-grabbing devices would be what they are without the various internal components – from Bluetooth chips to advanced semiconductor memory – powering them.

In keeping with the spirit of looking into the future with optimism, SK hynix will use its show floor space at CES to promote a different type of optimism for the future, one that impacts everyone – the environmental impact.

For as much attention that the devices themselves receive about battery life, heat generation and other concerns, carbon reduction efforts begin at the heart of those devices, within the internal components.

As a semiconductor company, SK hynix, along with five other group affiliates participating in the exhibition, shoulders an important part of SK Group’s larger carbon reduction effort and will be showcasing examples of its impact on three distinct areas: the product, the process, and the package.

The Product: Low-Powered Semiconductors

It’s widely recognized that general solid-state drives, or SSDs, consume 60% less power than hard-disk drives, or HDDs. If we can replace existing 4th generation NAND Flash-based enterprise SSDs (eSSDs) in the data centers around the world with 5th generation eSSDs, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 50,000 tons a year in 2030.

SK hynix’s world’s best-performing DRAM, High Bandwidth Memory 3 (HBM3), is also expected to contribute to SK hynix’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. HBM3, which is used for AI Accelerators and high-performance graphics cards, has improved power consumption over existing GDDR DRAM by about 50 percent. Replacing GDDR DRAM with HBM3 also will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions by about 830,000 tons a year in 2030.

By accelerating the transition of the storages into SSDs and developing the next-gen semiconductor memory solutions, SK hynix can help contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, which is one of the important goals for SK Group.

The Process: Water-free scrubber

One of the best examples of SK hynix’s sustainable movement is the adoption of the highly efficient ‘Water-Free Scrubber’ at process plants to better manage water resources.

SK hynix’s dedication to the safe disposal of various chemicals used in semiconductor processing is proven through its development and adoption of eco-friendly process technology. For this, the eco-friendly scrubber technology was developed for the treatment of process gas. The eco-friendly scrubbers led to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 90 percent a year in 2020. Furthermore, SK hynix developed new water-free scrubbers with its partner companies. Compared to the existing scrubbers, these water-free scrubbers can eliminate process gas without using any water resources, and by so further reduce water resource consumption.

The Package: Biodegradable package material

The commitment to the environment doesn’t end when the products are manufactured. Even the packaging that our SSDs are shipped in take the environment into consideration.

Last year, when the company announced its Gold P31 SSD, it noted packaging that utilized biodegradable plastic bags, soy ink and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper. This eco-friendly package can be degraded by 90% in 180 days, and the certification indicated that the wood fiber was harvested in ways that reduce environmental impact by protecting water quality, avoiding hazardous chemicals, and protecting forest ecology and wildlife habitats.

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SK’s Pursuit of Eco-Friendly Semiconductor Ecosystem

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Processing a copious amount of data we use every day generates a lot of heat and carbon. In the process of semiconductor production, we are also striving with our business partners to create a sustainable semiconductor ecosystem by establishing the Eco Alliance, which is concerned with minimizing carbon emissions and solving environmental problems.

In 2019, SK hynix created the ECO Alliance, a coalition of nearly 40 partner companies committed to building an eco-friendly semiconductor ecosystem. Each member company of alliance is held accountable to mid-to long-term environmental goals that will reduce the impact of their company on the environment. SK hynix is working with partners to maximize energy efficiency in the manufacturing process by recovering waste heat and operating the refrigeration system in optimal condition.

THE SK FAMILY EFFORT

When it comes to carbon reduction, the work being done through SK hynix are part of a larger effort among SK Group’s many companies. The Group is determined to contribute to the global carbon reduction targets of 21 billion tons by 2030 by taking on one percent of that, or 200 million tons.

The work is part of SK Group’s larger philosophy and belief that social values are just as important as economic values. It’s an important message that will resonate as many of us venture out again for the first time since Covid changed our lives. For some, it will be the first time back on an airplane or sleeping in a hotel room. For others, it may be the first time being back among large groups of people.

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But to be back after last year’s hiatus, to see some cutting-edge technologies and be able to understand that the future is more than what we do, but also how we go about doing it. It’s an exciting time to be back.

Safe travels to one and all heading to and from Las Vegas. Stay healthy.