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A Year to Remember: SK hynix Moves Further Into the Global Spotlight

By December 29, 2022 No Comments

The year 2022 was particularly memorable for SK hynix as it celebrated its 10th anniversary,* but the past 12 months proved to be somewhat challenging for the semiconductor industry. Nevertheless, SK hynix has overcome these obstacles to cement its position as a top-tier global technology company. As the year comes to a close it is time to look back at the company’s major milestones in 2022, including the release of groundbreaking new products, its participation in international tech events, and its strengthened commitment to ESG practices.

*The company re-branded itself as SK hynix Inc. after joining SK Group in 2012.

SK hynix: Leading the Tech Sector with Innovative Solutions

Figure 1. SK hynix’s 2022 Innovations Leading the Tech Sector

 

Advanced technological innovation is a key part of becoming a leading technology business on the global stage. For SK hynix, it is continuously pushing the boundaries of technology to develop next-generation solutions.

This commitment to innovation was showcased early on in 2022 as the company unveiled the GDDR6-AiM, its first product which utilized Processing in Memory (PIM) technology, in February. The GDDR6-AiM is an AI accelerator with its own computational capabilities that significantly increases certain computation speeds. It’s anticipated to be adopted for machine learning, high-performance computing, and big data computation and storage.

Then, in April, SK hynix joined hands with Solidigm to introduce their first enterprise solid-state drive (eSSD), P5530. It combines SK hynix’s 128-layer 4D NAND flash with Solidigm’s SSD controller and firmware supporting a PCle Gen 4 interface. This limited release highlighted the partnership between SK hynix and its subsidiary Solidigm, which was formed after SK hynix acquired Intel’s NAND and SSD business in December 2021.

The innovations continued into the summer as SK hynix became the first company to mass produce HBM3, the world’s best-performing DRAM, in June—which it supplied to NVIDIA. The announcement came just seven months after the company became the industry’s first to develop HBM3, solidifying its leadership in the premium DRAM market.

SK hynix announced another industry-first in August as it unveiled the world’s highest 238-layer 512Gb TLC (Triple-Level Cell) 4D NAND. The chip is the most layered yet smallest NAND product out on the market. With plans for mass production next year, it simultaneously improves productivity, data transfer speed, and power efficiency.

In the same month, SK hynix reinforced its superiority in Compute Express Link (CXL) solutions when it developed its first DDR5 DRAM-based CXL memory samples. Two months later, SK hynix became the first in the industry to integrate computational functions into CXL memory by developing CMS, a computational memory solution that’s expected to improve system performance as well as energy efficiency for next-generation server platforms. These developments represented a chance for the company to expand memory and create a new market, as CXL is set to be a critical technology in optimizing memory solutions in the future.

SK hynix continued to reimagine technological limits in December when the company announced it had developed working samples of its DDR5 Multiplexer Combined Ranks (MCR) Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM), the world’s fastest server DRAM product. The new MCR DIMM operates at a minimum data rate of 8Gbps and is at least 80% faster than existing DDR5 products. SK hynix expects demand for the MCR DIMM to be driven by high performance computing that will take advantage of the increased memory bandwidth.

A Global Ambassador: Exhibiting Leading Technology and Business Performance at Major Tech Events

Figure 2. 2022 Global Tech Events Attended by SK hynix

 

As the semiconductor industry continues to grow every year, collaborations between related companies and markets are essential for long-term growth. In 2022, SK hynix participated in numerous international exhibitions and events to not only strengthen cooperation with its partners but also showcase the company’s productivity and advancements.

At the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2022 at the beginning of the year in Las Vegas, SK hynix showed its commitment to SK Group’s larger carbon reduction efforts through its initiatives related to the manufacturing and packaging of its products. By showcasing its low-power semiconductors, water-free scrubbers, and biodegradable package materials, SK hynix highlighted its continued focus on the environmental impact of its products.

In March, SK hynix was the only company that presented a HBM3 at NVIDIA GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 2022. As a high-performing product able to drastically reduce power consumption in data centers around the world, HBM3 emphasized SK hynix’s desire to build on its core product that will meet ESG standards and boost corporate values.

In June, SK hynix participated in the HPE Discover 2022 conference with Solidigm. Showcasing its products under the themes “A New Standard Double Data Rate (DDR) for Green Future” and “Storage Technology Innovator for a Better World”, SK hynix underlined how it is building toward a future of innovative memory solution production.

SK hynix’s developments in the memory sector were further revealed at the annual Flash Memory Summit (FMS) in August, where SK hynix executives gave keynote addresses. They explained how NAND technology is addressing the need for “DataCosm,” the unique confluence of data, storage, and computing. The company also unveiled the world’s first 238-layer 512Gb TLC 4D NAND at the event.

In early October at the Semiconductor Exhibition (SEDEX) in Seoul, SK hynix emphasized its message of a Memory Centric Universe that places semiconductor memory at the center of the company’s world. Audiences from the company’s home country were reminded of the foundational role that memory semiconductors play in familiar, advanced technologies including AI, the Metaverse, big data, and next-generation communication networks (6G).

Lastly, the OCP Global Summit later in October provided the platform to display four SK hynix products, including an industry-first CXL computational memory solution. While proving SK hynix’s standing as a total solution provider, the development marked a meaningful partnership with SK Telecom—another ICT company of SK Group—for a breakthrough advancement.

Thinking Sustainability: SK hynix and Its Eco-friendly Achievements

Figure 3. SK hynix’s 2022 ESG Milestones

 

As climate change and its impact on the world’s ecosystem becomes increasingly problematic, SK hynix has taken it upon itself to join global efforts to protect the environment as part of its Double Bottom Line philosophy. This places equal importance on the economic and social value of business decisions and has helped to further develop the company’s initiatives on managing carbon emissions and waste management in 2022.

In June, SK hynix received the carbon footprint certification for its eSSD and cSSD products. Issued by the U.K. climate change organization Carbon Trust, the certification assesses the impact of carbon emissions throughout the entire lifecycle of a product. By receiving a globally recognized certificate, SK hynix is able to provide more reliable data on the environmental impact of its products.

In October, SK hynix became a part of the global semiconductor industry’s climate change response initiative when it joined the Semiconductor Climate Consortium (SCC) as a founding member. The SCC is the first global consultative body formed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the semiconductor value chain.

The company’s environmentally-friendly initiatives are not limited to combatting climate change. In November, the company became the first semiconductor company in Korea to receive the ‘IECQ QC 080000 Hazardous Substance Process Management (HSPM)’ certification. The certificate validates the company’s ability to manage hazardous substances throughout the entire process of supplying environmentally-friendly semiconductors.

In addition to protecting the environment, SK hynix made sure to strengthen its ESG management this year by developing its ESG strategy playbook and goals known as the PRISM framework. PRISM relays the message that SK hynix will transparently communicate with stakeholders while also reflecting its goal of spreading a positive influence around the world.

Although 2022 has proved to be a challenging and uncertain year for the semiconductor industry, SK hynix has been able to overcome these issues thanks to its ability to turn crises into opportunities. The company has made tremendous strides to solidify its status as a successful and environmentally conscious semiconductor company, pushing the boundaries of technological innovations and reaching milestones in business performances and environmental contributions. Looking toward the next 100 years, SK hynix will continue to stand as a leading solution provider that pushes the global ICT ecosystem forward.