Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flash Memory Controller is the Secret Sauce

This is the the fifth SSD controller company to be acquired recently:
* In March of last year OCZ acquired Indilinx
* In may 2011 SanDisk bought Pliant
* LSI acquired SandForce in October
* December brought Apple's acquisition of Anobit
* Now SK Hynix has acquired Link_A_Media

At the  Flash Summit in August 2011, Sandisk discussed The Future of SSD Architectures. Several of the key technical issues of a flash NAND memory controller were highlighted.

Having controller knowledge in-house is a key edge in designing fast and low power flash memory systems.


SK Hynix to Acquire Link_A_Media Devices

SK hynix Inc. (‘SK hynix’ or ‘the Company’) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire California-based storage solution company Link_A_Media Devices Corporation (‘LAMD’). LAMD, founded in 2004, is a leader in the development of semiconductor system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the data storage market. These SoC solutions, also called controllers, interface with processors to significantly increase the speed and reliability of Flash memory. Upon completion of the acquisition, LAMD will join SK hynix as a business unit focused on customized NAND based solutions.

As various mobile applications such as smartphones and tablet PCs are being rapidly adopted and cloud computing grows in popularity, the NAND Flash market has been evolving from raw NAND memory solutions for USB and memory cards to value-added products equipped with controllers. The role of the NAND controller in premium products such as e-MMC (embedded Multi Media Card) and SSDs (Solid State Drives) has become increasingly important to meet the high memory densities and improved interface speeds required by end users.

“We expect our NAND Flash competitiveness will be further strengthened by the acquisition of LAMD which has extensive expertise in controller technology and excellent engineering resources. SK hynix will leverage this acquisition and continuously develop value-added NAND solutions and respond to our customers’ needs,” said Mr. Oh Chul Kwon, President and CEO of SK hynix.

“We are excited to become a part of the SK hynix family. This will enable us to bring our advanced controller solutions to a wide range of data storage products to meet the rapidly increasing demands of the worldwide business and consumer markets,” said Dr. Hemant Thapar, Founder and CEO of LAMD.

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