Culture & People

[Employee Spotlight Series]: Meet the Algorithm and Advanced IP Team

By September 30, 2021 October 6th, 2021 No Comments

Our editorial series titled “Employee Spotlight” champions different SK hynix employees around the globe around a variety of topics. Made up of over 36,000 talented, engaged, and motivated employees across global offices, we hold firm the belief that when our employees thrive, so does our business. And much like our high-performance products, they power every aspect of our company.

In this article, we are highlighting our colleagues on the Algorithm and Advanced IP Team at SK hynix Memory Solutions America, who discuss the secret recipe that make our devices unique in the market, and the collaborative and friendly working environment that empowers our members and encourages personal growth.

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The team, based in Silicon Valley, helps bring the advanced technology from initial research to final vigorously tested solutions for the company. Their work focuses on the latest and the most competitive error correction code (ECC) IP design to highly improve the performance and reliability of our memory products.

Our leadership

Our team leaders lead by example and provide transparency to all team members, encouraging open discussion whenever an issue arises. This along with passion for innovative thinking and hard-working spirit is passed down to every employee on the team, regardless of level.


The Way I See It: Fan Zhang (Team Leader)

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Tell us about Algorithm and Advanced IP team at SK hynix Memory Solutions: “Our team is consist of two parts, one is for algorithm development and the other is for its actual implementation. We are trying to bring the advanced technology from early-stage research all the way to fully-proven solutions in various product lines within the company.”

Approach to team-building and career development: “Thanks to SK hynix Memory Solution’s generous support, we have team-building once or twice every quarter. Our company also prompts employees to set up their career development goals and work with managers closely to achieve those goals.”

What’s next for Algorithm and Advanced IP: “One of our team’s missions is to develop better ECC solutions to combat increasing errors from NAND flash. This is really critical to ensure NAND technology can keep current scaling.”


The Way I See It: Hongwei Duan (Senior Manager)

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Role on the team: “My current position is Senior Manager leading design and verification effort for advanced IP team. We are working on the next generation cutting-edge LDPC IPs which will make the cutting-edge enterprise SSD controller more competitive in performance, power and cost.”

How you build company culture: “The culture of SK hynix Memory Solutions is to promote innovation and foster inter-team and intra-team collaboration. This is done through great leadership conveying consistent message no matter how much pressure there is.”

DRAM and NAND technology in simple terms: “NAND is like your notebook you can write information and retain it. DRAM is like scratchpad you can use to work out a problem and thrown away later. Both DRAM and NAND are the main components of laptop computers and smartphones.”


Our engineers

Because of our engineers’ ever-progressing innovation that helps to build best-in-class products in a highly contended market, SK hynix is a top player in the industry. With these employees old and new, we continue to reinforce our technological leadership by introducing the world’s first, smallest, fastest, and lowest-power innovations in the semiconductor industry.

The Way I See It: Meysam Asadi (Senior Staff Engineer)

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Role on the team: “I am a member of algorithm team, which means I am in charge of coming up with algorithms that can improve the performance of the drive. Also, as a team member we quantify the performance of each algorithm by analyzing the obtained result.

Each section’s role in more detail: “Usually algorithm section comes up with different algorithms to improve the performance of some part of drive, mainly the ECC engine. Then these algorithms are tested on software using high processing computers. After the algorithm team observes the performance improvement, the implementation section is in charge of implementing it (called HDL design) using a hardware descriptor language, and debugging and verifying (called DV) the correctness of the designed algorithm.”

How would you describe company culture: “I believe in the phrase, ‘if you create a good place to work, great work takes place’. How to make a good place to work? By taking into account all the important aspects of an employee’s life such as, making the work meaningful by proper company vision, helping employee to improve their work and life balance and creating a good workplace that one can communicate with other colleagues easily.”


The Way I See It: Seyhan Karakulak (Principal Algorithm Research Engineer)

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Role on the team: “I design quantization and compression algorithms to optimize deep neural networks we consider for AI-assisted data storage. The aim of my current project is to reduce the precision of deep neural network weights to achieve reduction in power, latency, and memory requirements while maintaining acceptable accuracy. Such deep neural networks with efficient power and memory requirements, and acceptable accuracy will make machine learning tasks to be run on edge devices.”

Key to team success: “Our team focuses on designing cutting edge algorithms that focuses on from error correcting codes to deep neural networks for AI-assisted data storage systems. We make sure that our algorithms become part of successful products and to attain our goal, we collaborate with across teams that focus on design and media.”

What’s next for Algorithm and Advanced IP: “I am excited to be part of a team that has a vision for the future of data storage systems that incorporate AI and machine learning. The extent of the state-of-the-art research I have been exposed in my role is fulfilling. Regular attendance of machine learning conferences, applying ideas and approaches from information theory and statistical learning to my projects have become a routine I enjoy greatly.”


The Way I See It: Loren Lam (Principal Engineer)

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Role on the team: “My role is to enhance the testbench to make debugging easier as we concentrate to develop tests. I’ve been with the company for about three months, and I am also excited to learn and verify ECC algorithms.”

Best qualities of the team: “Hongwei referred me to the team as he was my manager in previous company. He told me that his team value hard worker and have good skills in verification and eager to discover and learn computing algorithm. I am happy to join the team. We are working on valuable memory to improve the efficiency and reliability of any memory storage devices. The team is very friendly and helpful.”

4th industrial revolution technology semiconductor memory will have biggest impact on: “I think memory have the biggest impact on AI, because it is highly parallel-computation intensive. Many companies are developing their own AI chip. The growth for memory performance and size would grow exponentially.”


The Way I See It: CK Lin (ASIC Design Engineer)

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Role on the team: “I joined in June 2021 and I play a role as an ASIC design engineer in AIP group in charge of the advanced IP design. I really enjoy working with the Algorithm & AIP team. Our team members are thoughtful and supportive.

Why did you join: “SK hynix is a top semiconductor company that focus on memory development in the world. I am working under the environment with full of equality. We talk like trusted friends to solve the problems no matter if you are the leader or not. This creates a very close and positive-working environment.”

Most important thing you’ve learned: “One thing I’ve learned is the ability of multitasking is very important. That doesn’t mean that you have all the high work-load tasks to do at once. It is actually the opposite. You are able to handle some technical and untechnical tasks simultaneously, which can be a little challenging, but also very exciting for me.”


Down the pipeline

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Our team’s success comes from its collaboration, innovation, and accountability. We will continue working on the next generation cutting-edge IPs which will make the cutting-edge enterprise SSD controller more competitive in performance, power, and cost.

Stay tuned for our next employee spotlight article to meet even more members of our growing staff here at SK hynix!