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SK hynix acquires Softeq’s firmware

SK hynix, South Korea’s second-biggest memory chip maker, said Thursday that it has acquired the firmware unit of Softeq Development based in Minsk, Belarus, in Eastern Europe.

The deal, which also includes not only buying the firmware technology but also bringing in its key assets such as talented engineers, was in line with its efforts to further boost the Korean company’s NAND flash memory solutions.

“The company will be able to further bolster its global research and development, and competitiveness in NAND flash by securing (Softeq’s) key human resources in firmware via the acquisition,” said an SK hynix official.

The Belarus tech firm has been developing firmware for NAND flash memory makers since its establishment in 2008, according to SK hynix.

Firmware, one of the key components of memory storage for smartphones and tablet PCs, helps manage data and enhance the performance of such devices through NAND flash controllers. Firmware is embedded, for instance, in solid-state drives.

SK hynix has been making a series of acquisitions since 2012 to expand its NAND flash solutions business amid the rise in demand for data storage capacity following a growing usage of mobile devices.

It took over Italy-based Ideaflash in 2012, then Taiwan-based Innostor Technology’s embedded Multi-Media Controller, or eMMC, a flash memory application that can read and write media data, in 2013.

Last month, the Korean chip giant bought the U.S.-based Violin Memory’s high-speed flash memory card unit.

By Park Hyong-ki (