The Semiconductor Academy: SK hynix’s Unique Knowledge-sharing Platform for its Trusted Partners

By March 5, 2020 March 20th, 2020 No Comments

Uncertainty is growing in the semiconductor market amid the rapidly changing global environments. Within the semiconductor industry, a “mutual growth relationship” has emerged as a keyword to preemptively respond to potential risks and pave the way toward technological innovation. SK hynix is engaged in various collaborations to enhance the competitiveness of the semiconductor ecosystem through mutual growth with partners.

SK hynix has been playing a leading role in the development and manufacturing of memory semiconductors for decades, thanks to a great deal of supports from its local and global partners. SK hynix has been sharing its assets accumulated for over 30 years to bolster the semiconductor ecosystem’s competitiveness, by nurturing partner companies’ workforces and strengthening their technological prowess through various activities. Among them, a knowledge-sharing platform named the “Semiconductor Academy” is one of the resources numerous partners are keeping their eyes on. SK hynix newsroom team met up with Social Value (SV) Business Model Team who runs this unique platform to learn more about the Semiconductor Academy and get a clearer picture of the future that SK hynix is aiming to achieve through infrastructure sharing among its partners.

Forming a Virtuous Circle in the Semiconductor Ecosystem

SK hynix is striving to establish a “Shared Infrastructure” to open up its various assets to its valued partners, with the aim of enhancing the semiconductor ecosystem. As part of these efforts, SK hynix launched its knowledge-sharing platform “Semiconductor Academy” in 2018, where SK hynix’s partners can learn more about its knowledge of semiconductor industry.

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At the Semiconductor Academy, every employee working at one of SK hynix’s partner companies can choose from 205 online courses, which cover a diverse range of topics including semiconductor basics, devices, design and statistics, all free of charge on a PC or a mobile device. SK hynix also provides 180 offline sessions a year at a discounted price, which consist of 86 different content that extend to 16 fields including process, design, product, quality, marketing, and automation.

Along with both online and offline open lectures, the Semiconductor Academy also provides customized lectures reflecting the needs of valued partners. Full-time lecturers deliver offline lectures according to each partner company’s preference of curriculum, schedules and locations. Starting with 12 sessions that benefitted eight partners in 2018, the Academy held 40 sessions in 2019, and the number of companies taking part also doubled to 16.

Currently, 255 partner companies benefit from courses found at Semiconductor Academy, and the free online lectures have already been watched by 57,530 people as of January 2020. By the second half of 2019, 2,590 people from 105 companies completed the offline courses, an increase of the number of students more than 100% year-over-year (YoY). Based on this strong support displayed by partners, the Semiconductor Academy has emerged as one of the top semiconductor-specialized educational institutions in just two years since its launch.

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Jinhyo Baik, Technical Leader (TL) at SV Business Model Team said, “Since SK hynix’s semiconductors are completed through many collaborations with numerous partners, we believe that the technological prowess of our partners must improve simultaneously so that we can produce the highest quality products together. We sincerely believe that sharing our vast knowledge accumulated over years is the best way to further strengthen the virtuous cycle in the semiconductor ecosystem, which will ultimately come back as even greater value to SK hynix.”

“Practical hands-on training applicable to the field”

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SK hynix is also holding regular meetings with its partners to discuss the best ways to foster semiconductor talents. Given the name “Semmunity” (Semiconductor + Community), these workshop sessions are held once or twice a year with the people in charge of each partner company’s employee education. SK hynix aims to achieve synergy effect of knowledge sharing through the communication and networking among its partners.

In addition, SK hynix is actively seeking valuable feedback from the students, listening to their opinions via after-class events and social networking services (SNS).

What are the greatest merits of taking lectures in Semiconductor Academy? The students enrolled at after-class events in the second half of 2019 listed five best merits as below.

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The students chose the brilliant lecturers as one of the best merits at Semiconductor Academy. Many commented that the practical trainings provided by field experts were incredibly helpful. The curriculum, which was designed to encourage effective and gradual learning by introducing courses from basic to advanced level, was also well-received by participants. The low lecture prices were also often mentioned as one of the biggest advantages.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response on the pleasant lecturing environment. With the Semiconductor Academy providing smaller classes than other institutions’ lectures, participants always had ample Q&A time with specialists during the sessions. Students also felt the opportunity to meet with other partner companies’ employees whom they had no prior connection with was especially important, as they were able to share knowledge and expertise, and form new networks through the lectures and workshops.

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Thanks to the honest and positive feedback from partners, SK hynix plans to employ more instructors, as well as diversify and enhance its curriculum starting this year. Besides simply transferring knowledge, SK hynix plans to provide effective consultation on establishing self-educational systems that allow partners to develop their own unique capabilities.

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Lastly, we asked about the future SK hynix dreams of, especially regarding the sharing of knowledge with partners. Baik said, “SK hynix is committed to continuing its efforts to grow mutually with partners based on trust and support, becoming a kind of “business family” rather than simple “business partners”. We expect the Semiconductor Academy to strengthen the fundamental competitiveness of our partners and play a key role in leading the virtuous cycle in the semiconductor ecosystem.”