SK Hynix to give IBM, HP first dibs

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SK Hynix to give IBM, HP first dibs

SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, said its newest semiconductors for mobile devices and laptops will be available first to Hewlett-Packard and International Business Machines.

Toshiba also may be among the initial customers since the three companies partner with SK Hynix on the development of next-generation chips, said Lee Jung-hoon, head of the Korean company’s Advanced Device & Process Integration division. The chips would be offered to those companies starting in 2015 at the earliest, he said.

SK Hynix, a supplier to Apple, is focusing on more advanced technologies to boost earnings as stalling demand for personal computers depresses prices for cheaper chips. The Icheon-based company teamed with U.S. computer makers to develop resistive random access memory, or ReRam, which may replace the flash memory used in smartphones and tablet computers.

“Whether it will be mass-produced or not will depend on its cost-competitiveness,” Lee said.

The company has been unprofitable in four of the past five years as chip prices slump. SK Hynix said April 24 it posted first-quarter profit of 178.7 billion won ($154 million) in the three months ended March 31 after losing 271 billion won a year earlier.

The price of the benchmark DDR3 2-gigabit DRAM rose to $1.93 Monday from $1.02 a year earlier, according to TrendForce’s DRAMeXchange, Asia’s largest market for the components.

Shares of SK Hynix fell 0.84 percent to 29,500 won yesterday. It fell 3.4 percent on Monday. The stock has gained 16 percent this year, compared with a 9.9 percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index.

SK Hynix teamed with Toshiba in 2011 to develop the next-generation dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chips that are mostly used for PCs. It also struck a technology license agreement with IBM in June 2012 for development of new technology.

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