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SK hynix mulls over partnership with U.S.-based Seagate

SK hynix Inc., the world's second-largest producer of memory chips, said Wednesday it was considering teaming up with a U.S. hard disk drive maker to strengthen its competitiveness.

In a regulatory filing with the Financial Supervisory Service, SK hynix said, "We are looking into various options, including setting up a joint venture with Seagate Technology PLC, to strengthen the mid and long-term competitiveness of our nonvolatile storage flash chips. But no decision has yet been made."

In recent years, SK hynix has stepped up efforts to secure competitiveness in the solid-state drive business with demand for them on the rise as an alternative to hard disk drives.

But it has had difficulties in bolstering its presence in the SSD market despite increased investments in facilities, research and development.

An SSD is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to persistently store data. It can transfer data faster than traditional hard drives while consuming less energy.

SK hynix now trails behind Samsung Electronics Co., Toshiba and Micron in the NAND flash chip market. Samsung leads others in SSDs.

SSDs powered by NAND flash chips are widely expected to gradually replace hard drives despite higher prices.

A business partnership would be a win-win for the two companies, as SK hynix would gain access to the storage solutions of Seagate in return for stable NAND chip supplies to the U.S. company. (Yonhap)