Samsung Electronics is mulling usage of memory chips made by its arch-rival SK Hynix in order to boost output of its smartphones. While the move will improve output of Samsung’s handsets, it may limit supply of chips to Apple, which currently relies on supply of mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips from SK Hynix.
As Samsung is boosting the output of its own brand smartphones and media tablets, which utilize LPDDR memory chips with reduced power consumption, it cannot satisfy its own demand for such chips using its own capacities, according to Reuters news-agency which cites J.K. Shin, head of Samsung's mobile business unit. As a result, it recently entered negotiations with SK Hynix over supply of LPDDR2 and LPDDR3-class DRAMs.
SK Hynix currently sells LPDDR-class memory to Apple, who shifted orders from Samsung Electronics to its arch-rival. However, given that both consumer electronics giants require tremendous amounts of memory for their highly-popular iPhone and Galaxy S handsets, a shipment agreement with Samsung may affect the supply agreement between SK Hynix and Apple.
At present all leading DRAM makers – Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix – are shifting their commodity DRAM manufacturing capacities to mobile memory types, which should ease the supply constraints for LPDDR-class chips, but will naturally affect output of DDR3 memory for personal computers.
Apple and SK Hynix did not comment on the news-story.