Hynix back in nonmemory biz with SiliconFile deal

November 27, 2007 – Four years after spinning off its original nonmemory business (now thriving as MagnaChip Semiconductor), Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is getting back into the sector through a partnership with CMOS image sensor designer SiliconFile Technologies.

Under the partnership, Hynix will manufacture and sell the image sensors using SiliconFile’s design with “favorable” foundry service terms, and also is taking an undisclosed ownership stake in the fellow Korean firm. Mass production is planned for 4Q08, according to the Korea Times, citing a Hynix spokesperson.

SiliconFile, formed in 2002 and now employing about 40 workers, expects to post ~$65M in sales this year, up from $24M in 2006 and $13M in 2005, with around 8% share of the CIS market for mobile phones (Micron, Omnivision, ST and Toshiba collectively held ~65% in 2006, notes the Korea Times) and customers including “major mobile manufacturers in Korea, Japan, and China.

Hynix had been planning to emphasize a diversification into nonmemory operations for some time. Earlier this year it indicated it would reinvest in its Line M7, a 200mm DRAM line in Icheon (south of Seoul), for a foray into nonmemory semiconductors, once restrictions tied to the Magnachip spinoff expire.


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