Samsung also shifting to downsize automotive memory team
SK Hynix has significantly downsized its team that develops memory products for automobiles, TheElec has learned.
According to sources, Daeyong Shim, vice president head of SK Hynix’s Automotive Business, was transferred to the Semiconductor Academy, a team dedicated to educating the company’s suppliers in semiconductor technologies.
In his stead, SK Hynix has named a manager-level employee as head of the business.
The Automotive Business now only has 10 employees working __ it previously housed close to a hundred.
The decision was made as SK Hynix believes that the team contributed little profit compared to how much it spent.
The South Korean memory maker had formed the team back in 2016, which began developing DRAM for automobiles. The team started off as ten people but grew around a hundred in the next five years.
Memory products used in automobiles require a longer life span and higher reliability compared to their counterparts used in smartphones or servers.
This means they are more difficult to make but also have higher average sales prices.
Demand for them is also increasing from automobiles adopting infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems.
However, the absolute size of the automobile memory market remains small. Fewer automobiles are shipped compared to IT products while they also have a longer life span.
According to analyst firm TrendForce, out of the total DRAM used in 2019, only 1.8% was for automobiles, while smartphones, servers and PCs, accounted for 43.1%, 30.5% and 12.7%, respectively.
Sources said last year SK Hynix made only around 10 billion won in revenue from sales of automobile memory products.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also planning to downsize its automotive memory team, another group of people familiar with the matter said.
Their team has already been downsized somewhat since the company launched new automotive memory late last year, they said.