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Korean chipmaker to acquire American semiconductor firm; flash memory focus

Korea's SK Hynix will acquire California's Link_A_Media Devices in a bid to improve its NAND flash memory offerings as mobile applications proliferate.

Korean semiconductor company SK Hynix announced this morning that it will acquire Santa Clara, Calif.-based storage firm Link_A_Media Devices in a bid to increase its competitiveness in the NAND flash memory market.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Eight-year-old LAMD specializes in the development of semiconductor system-on-chips, called SoCs or simply controllers, for data storage. Controllers work with processors to increase the speed and reliability of flash memory.

That's an important distinction as the mobile and cloud computing sectors continue to grow; smartphones, tablet computers and embedded applications all favor flash memory as a lightweight, fast, small and durable alternative to disk storage.

NAND flash was once used in a basic, raw form; now, it increasingly is sold with controllers, as interface speeds and memory densities increase in solid-state drives and other devices.

"We expect our NAND flash competitiveness will be further strengthened by the acquisition of LAMD," SK Hynix CEO Oh Chul Kwon said, "which has extensive expertise in controller technology and excellent engineering resources."