SK Hynix and Spansion have announced a cross-licensing agreement and a supply contract of single level cell (SLC) NAND flash. The cross-licensing agreement covers mutual permission of licenses for patents of both companies, which would reduce the possibility of global patent disputes and thus curtail the business uncertainty. In addition, SK Hynix will supply its SLC NAND Spansion, who will test, package, sell and support flash-based products.
"Together we can deliver innovative NAND products to the embedded market- combining Spansion's leadership position and established customer relationships across multiple embedded segments with SK Hynix's NAND manufacturing size and scale," said Oh Chul Kwon, president and chief executive of SK Hynix.
Thanks to the agreement, SK Hynix secures multi-year stable supply of SLC NAND flash products for embedded market loaded as internal memory solutions on IT devices. Spansion will provide the embedded products for various applications such as digital TVs, mobile phones, automobiles after combining SK Hynix’s NAND flash with its flash technology. Spansion SLC NAND products will be made using 40nm-, 30nm- and 20nm-class process technologies. The first Spansion SLC NAND products resulting from this alliance will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2012. Spansion also plans to introduce a family of NAND products over the next few quarters.
With Spansion’s accumulated technical expertise in flash as a leading NOR producer, SK Hynix will take advantage of sharing various patents to develop technologies and improve the product portfolio. On the other hand, Spansion has built the broadest business portfolio by releasing its first SLC NAND products for embedded market.
“As the market for NAND memory grows in embedded segments, we are now well positioned with the broadest portfolio of flash memory products to meet the demanding requirements of the embedded market by cooperating with SK Hynix,” said John Kispert, president and chief executive officer of Spansion.