[THE INVESTOR] LAS VEGAS -- SK hynix CEO Lee Seok-hee expressed his determination to expand into the emerging market for automotive memory chips ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 7.
Upon his arrival in Las Vegas the newly appointed head of the chip giant told The Korea Herald that his company is eying the growth potential of the automotive semiconductor business and plans to expand its presence in the market.
“Autonomous driving is a new business that needs long-term efforts to foster, and we will expand into the new business by starting with automotive memory chips that go into many kinds of vehicle parts,” he said.
Lee joined other executives of SK Group -- SK Telecom, SK Innovation and SKC -- under the theme of future mobility.
At a combined booth, the SK affiliates will showcase their technologies and solutions for autonomous driving. As a chipmaker, SK hynix is taking responsibility of the memory chips for such cars.
The company is on track to expand the size of its workforce dedicated to the automotive memory business -- developing memory chips for ADAS since 2016 -- from the current around 20 engineers as the market grows, according to Lee.
“It is not easy to immediately increase the workforce, but as we gradually seek growth in the automotive sector, the workforce will get bigger,” the CEO said.
“The most important factor in automotive chips is reliability. Unlike smartphones that we change year after another, we own cars for years. An urgent task is to meet strict technological standards for automotive parts.”
According to market researcher IHS Markit, vehicle memory chips are forecast to account for 8.2 percent of the total automotive market this year and further rise to 10.2 percent by 2024.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)