SK Hynix announced on June 5 that it bought the firmware division of Softeq Development FLLC to improve its capability to develop 3D V-NAND flash memory chips.
Softeq is a Belarus-based software developer that specializes in firmware, mobile and web applications. The firm is considered to have secured great ability in developing firmware through cooperation with a number of NAND flash makers after its establishment in 2008.
The Korean chip maker is planning to sharpen its competitiveness in NAND flash solutions by acquiring technology, manpower, and assets of Softeq’s firmware arm.
SK Hynix is also going to secure a new technology base in Belarus after the US, Italy, and Taiwan, and to expand its global R&D network. It plans to enhance its capability by recruiting outstanding experts in Eastern Europe and Russia as well.
Firmware refers to a computer program inside a NAND flash controller that improves the speed and stability of the product. The importance of firmware has been increasing as mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs have become much more advanced. Moreover, requirements for solution products have been diversified. There is fierce competition between companies to secure talented firmware experts.
A SK Hynix official said, “We will be able to have excellent firmware professionals, enhance the competitiveness of NAND flash, and strengthen our R&D capacity through this transaction.”
Meanwhile, the world’s second-largest memory chip manufacturer is actively engaged in M&A activities to sharpen its competitive advantage in NAND flash solutions and to strengthen its R&D capability.
Previously, SK Hynix purchased Italy-based Ideaflash S.r.l, and Link A Media Devices in June 2012. It also bought the eMMC device controller business unit of Taiwan-based Innostor Technology in August 2013. The Korean company acquired the expansion card division of US-based Violin Memory in May this year.