SK hynix Develops Next-Generation Mobile NAND Solution ZUFS 4.0

  • Mass production of industry’s best-performing product for on-device AI smartphones to begin in 3Q
  • Performance degradation over time improved, while lifetime increased by 40%
  • SK hynix to expand leadership in AI memory space with strong presence in NAND solutions following success of HBM

SEOUL, South Korea, May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — SK hynix Inc. (or “the company”, www.skhynix.com) announced today that it has developed the Zoned UFS, or ZUFS* 4.0, a mobile NAND solution product for on-device** AI applications.

SK hynix develops ZUFS 4.0
SK hynix develops ZUFS 4.0

*Zoned Universal Flash Storage(ZUFS): a NAND Flash product that improves efficiency of data management. The product optimizes data transfer between an operating system and storage devices by storing data with similar characteristics in the same zone of the UFS, a flash memory product for various electronic devices such as digital camera and mobile phone.

*On-Device AI: a technology that implements AI functions on the device itself, instead of going through computation by a physically separated server. A smartphone’s direct collection and computation of information allows fast reactions of the AI performance, while promising an improved customized AI service.

SK hynix said that the ZUFS 4.0, optimized for on-device AI from mobile devices such as smartphones, is the industry’s best of its kind. The company expects the latest product to help expand its AI memory leadership to the NAND space, extending its success in the high-performance DRAM represented by HBM.

The ZUFS is a differentiated technology that classifies and stores data generated from smartphones in different zones in accordance with characteristics. Unlike a conventional UFS, the latest product groups and stores data with similar purposes and frequencies in separate zones, boosting the speed of a smartphone’s operating system and management efficiency of the storage devices.

The ZUFS also shortens the time required to run an application from a smartphone in long hours use by 45%, compared with a conventional UFS. With the issue of degradation of read and write performance improved by more than four times, the lifetime of the product also increased by 40%.

The development of the technology dates back to 2019, before the arrival of the AI boom, when SK hynix started collaboration with a global platform service company on expectations for an increased demand for high-performance NAND solutions.

Following provision of the prototypes of ZUFS, SK hynix and the customer jointly developed the 4.0 product that qualifies the specifications by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council, or JEDEC. SK hynix will commence mass production of the ZUFS 4.0 in the third quarter with an aim to provide to various on-device AI smartphones by global companies.

Ahn Hyun, Head of the N-S Committee at SK hynix, said that customers are requiring better memory options as big tech companies focus on development of the on-device products adopting their own generative AI applications. “SK hynix will continue to work toward strengthening its leadership as the global top AI memory provider by supplying high-performance NAND solutions that meet such higher requirements at a right time, while building up stronger partnership with leading ICT companies.”

About SK hynix Inc.
SK hynix Inc., headquartered in Korea, is the world’s top tier semiconductor supplier offering Dynamic Random Access Memory chips (“DRAM”), flash memory chips (“NAND flash”) and CMOS Image Sensors (“CIS”) for a wide range of distinguished customers globally. The Company’s shares are traded on the Korea Exchange, and the Global Depository shares are listed on the Luxemburg Stock Exchange. Further information about SK hynix is available at www.skhynix.com, news.skhynix.com.

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