Culture & People

Semiconductor Portal “DBL Square”, Developed by SK hynix and Partners

By September 10, 2020 No Comments

One of the most important keywords in the recent semiconductor industry is “mutual growth”, which is the key to proactively respond to potential risks in the rapidly changing internal and external environment, and further to establish a foothold for technological information. SK hynix is also making a ceaseless effort to strengthen the competitiveness of the semiconductor ecosystem through the shared growth with its partners.

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SK hynix is running a website aiming for “a semiconductor specialized portal” called “DBL1 Square”, which was built for shared growth with partners. DBL Square is an online communication space for sharing tangible and intangible assets and sharing information with partners to strengthen the competitiveness of the semiconductor ecosystem.

Starting as a “sharing infrastructure platform” that provides knowledge sharing and technology cooperation services, the website has been reorganized into “DBL Square Ver. 1.0”, a semiconductor specialized portal in September 2019. This year, this has been evolved into “DBL Square Ver. 2.0”, providing a communication function. Furthermore, a mobile application was also released for better accessibility.

Complete Change of DBL Square with Enhanced Community Feature by “Semmunity” and Exclusive Application

The core of the reorganized DBL Square is the “Semmunity (Semiconductor + Community)” function. In Semmunity, anyone who signs up for DBL Square can open online meetings on a variety of topics to communicate and interact with each other.

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Currently, various online meetings are open on Semmunity, including: △“Community Bandi” where people in charge of semiconductor education at SK hynix and partners gather together to share human resource development (HRD) information and exchange know-how; △“Patent Investment Techniques” where people in charge of the patent from each partner gather together to share patent-related challenges and seek for solutions; △“Analysis Party” where engineers at partners and analysis and measurement engineers at SK hynix gather together to share information, communicate and promote technical capabilities.

DBL Square Staff at SK hynix said, “Semmunity is a space for many partners within the semiconductor ecosystem of SK hynix to communicate with each other and solve problems. There are also meetings created mainly by SK hynix, but it is also possible to set up an online meeting among partners or consisting of employees from one partner only.”

In addition, DBL Square operates a news curation service that delivers semiconductor industry trends. This service provides not only various information such as semiconductor and industry news and DBL activities, but also paid content of media outlets to partners for free of charge, through the alliance with them. By collecting major news of the semiconductor industry and related in-depth analysis content, it allows partners to easily access to it.

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Furthermore, a mobile application was launched in May this year. Through this, you can access the main services of DBL Square more conveniently in your smartphone, and watch educational video materials covering from semiconductor basics to expert knowledge without logging in.

Through this reorganization, a growth management function was also added so that partners who do not have their own HRD system can train their human resources systematically. When using this function, partners can organize their own educational programs by using the curriculum of Semiconductor Academy, as well as providing recommended lectures to employees or managing class hours.

In the future, SK hynix plans to continuously upgrade the DBL Square. DBL Square staff at SK hynix said, “We plan to expand the user range of DBL Square to include employees in the related industries and students, beyond the partners.”

“High Level of Satisfaction of Semiconductor Academy and High Expectations for Semmunity”

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Q. Could you briefly introduce Wonik IPS?

Wonik IPS is an equipment manufacturer of semiconductor and display. For SK hynix, we are supplying deposition equipment used for CVD2 process to production lines at Icheon and Cheongju sites.

Q. Wonik IPS is one of the partners of SK hynix which make the best use of Semiconductor Academy in DBL Square. Could you tell us about the participation status of the Semiconductor Academy?

Semiconductor Academy is largely divided into three types: open courses, customized courses, and online courses. Among them, 114 open courses were conducted last year. Online courses have also been widely known in-house recently, with more than 300 students completing them. These days, we request customized courses a lot. From May 2019 to December 2019, a total of 11 customized courses were conducted, with around 230 people who completed them.

Q. What are the unique strengths of the Semiconductor Academy when comparing to other training programs?

It seems that the Semiconductor Academy is based on a good understanding of training required for each partner. I think that is the reason why customized lectures are often conducted. In the case of online courses, the education method is trendy. The lectures are carried out with video clips which last from three minutes to around 20 minutes at the most, giving no burden to trainees. Participants can also select and take a certain video lecture in a specific part if needed. It also provides a good summary, which enables participants to understand concepts easily.

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Q. Besides the Semiconductor Academy, is there any other partner support program of DBL Square that is frequently used?

In the field, we frequently use the Analysis and Measurement Support Center as well. So far, there have been about 1,300 cumulative use cases. We also have been benefited from the Happy Family scholarship provided to children of partners’ employees by SK hynix for a long time. From the beginning of the project, three to four people per year have been receiving support, and four people have also benefited during the last semester.

Q. DBL Square has recently been reorganized with an online community function called Semmunity. Could you tell us about your evaluation of it from the user’s point of view?

In the human resources and education fields, there exist many related communities already, but sharing know-how with each other is limited due to the difference in industries. I think it will be very helpful as it is a space for sharing information and communicating with each other within the semiconductor industry. As partners are connected through a common medium of SK hynix, it will be easier to form a sense of unity or bond with other partners and there will be more opportunities to understand each other or build trust.

“The analysis and measurement function: reliable, simple, quick and convenient”

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Q. Could you briefly introduce TES?

Suk Hwan Kim: TES is a manufacturer of semiconductor equipment, and we are developing deposition and etching3 equipment. TES is supplying both deposition and etching equipment to SK hynix, and is also conducting research to develop equipment jointly with SK hynix.

Q. TES is one of the partners of SK hynix which make the best use of Analysis and Measurement Support Center in DBL Square. Is there any particular reason to use this center in DBL Square, even though there are many other institutions that conduct analysis and measurement?

Sung Ho Kim: As we are conducting joint research with SK hynix, we are adjusting and developing specification and material properties to match the ones at SK hynix. In this regard, we are mainly requesting property analysis to the center in DBL Square. As people in charge of analysis and measurement are skilled engineers dealing with related tasks in the field, the analysis results are very credible, which is the reason why we are utilizing it often.

The application process is also simple, saving time. Other institutions need to be wired to check whether the request is possible or not. However, SK hynix is convenient because it is easy to apply online at DBL Square.

Q. SK hynix is also providing training and consulting for its partners to develop their own analytical capabilities through DBL Square. Are you receiving the support with regards to this as well?

Suk Hwan Kim: In other institutions, the process for receiving feedback is complicated because the operators responding to clients and researchers in charge of analysis and measurement are separated from each other. On the contrary, at SK hynix, people in charge of analysis and client requests have a good understanding of the entire work, which allows us to receive feedback quickly. This is also a big advantage for entrusting requests.

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Q. DBL Square has recently been reorganized with an online community function called Semmunity. Could you tell us about your evaluation on it from the user’s point of view?

Sung Ho Kim: It seems convenient because we can ask questions in an online space whenever we want. As educational materials and industry-related information are being updated frequently, we hope that it becomes even more vital in the future, contributing to the development of the semiconductor ecosystem.

Q. How would you evaluate SK hynix’s efforts to grow together with its partners through DBL Square, aiming to create a sound semiconductor ecosystem in the future?

Sung Ho Kim: I think it is immensely meaningful. Although the semiconductor industry is currently led by South Korea, foreign companies are dominating materials and equipment. In this regard, SK hynix’s effort to develop its partners’ capabilities through DBL Square is a great attempt for mutual growth in the semiconductor industry as a whole. We hope that more partners join this effort more actively and grow together, so that South Korea can lead the market in the equipment and material fields as well in the near future.


1DBL: Double bottom line; it refers to economic value and social value pursued by SK. SK hynix is making efforts to pursue these two values in a balanced way.
2CVD: Chemical vapor deposition; it refers to a process to deposit thin films by causing chemical action to facilitate etch or mask process.
3Etching: Etching process leaves only the necessary parts of the circuit and shaves off unnecessary parts.