SK Hynix to expand image sensor biz in China

South Korean chip manufacturer plans to capitalize on demand for mobile devices in China by focusing on image sensors for handsets and tablets. It kicked off a roadshow in Shenzhen to attract new customers.

SK Hynix's clients at a briefing about the chipmaker's business strategies for image sensors in Shenzhen, China. (Source: The Korea Times)

SK Hynix is expanding its business portfolio in China by leveraging the growing demand for Web-based devices from smartphones to tablets in the country.

According to The Korea Times on Wednesday, the company is now focusing on image sensors, a critical component to gauge the functionality of cameras for smartphones and tablets.

It also held an event to introduce its image sensor products and to highlight its strengths in related technologies to clients in Chinese city Shenzhen, the South Korean chip manufacturer said in a statement. This is also the first time SK Hynix held an event aimed at enticing new customers for the firm's upgraded solutions.

"Over 100 Chinese chipset makers and module houses came to the event, which is quite impressive. They were briefed over our new vision toward image sensors, detailed business plans and specifications of our key products like eight megapixel sensors using an advanced backside illumination (BSI) tech," it said.

It is also necessary for image sensor technology to have advanced NAND flash quality, and it is committed to expanding its share in the flash memory business segment which is relatively weak compared to its strength in DRAM.

"This is clear we are aiming to provide customers in the mobile market with a wide lineup of products. Image sensors have higher growth potential considering the rapidly increasing consumer demand for connected devices with mobile DRAM," Park Seong-ae, a company spokesperson, said in the report.

SK Hynix has conventionally been a DRAM and flash memory chips supplier but has been shifting its focus to high-end chip solutions to secure future growth engines, the report noted. In its Q2 earnings released in late July, SK Hynix posted an operating profit of US$984 million, and its revenue increased 430 percent quarter-on-quarter , due to a rise in DRAM chips used in mobile devices and PCs.

The company in July signed cross-licensing deals with rival Samsung Electronics, giving it access to the latter's memory chips patents while Samsung can use the former's patents. SK Hynix said it is keen to sign more cross-licensing deals with competitors to minimize legal patent disputes and focus more on its core business .