CHIPMAKER Samsung has said it is considering buying chips from rival DRAM maker SK Hynix to use in its smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung, the world's largest DRAM manufacturer, not surprisingly uses its own memory chips in its flagship smartphones such as the Galaxy S3. However comments by Samsung's head of mobile J K Shin suggest it is considering using SK Hynix memory for some of its products.
SK Hynix, which is the second largest DRAM maker and has expertise in GDDR memory, already supplies memory modules to firms such as Apple and Nvidia. Shin reportedly said Samsung is considering SK Hynix DRAM modules for use in future smartphones, including its upcoming Galaxy S4 handset.
While DRAM makers such as Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron have had to suffer through years of DRAM oversupply, in recent months demand has stepped up, which has led to higher prices. Shin's comments, whether they really will apply to the Galaxy S4 or not, strongly suggest that the DRAM market is finally rebounding.
Samsung and SK Hynix might be competitors but the two firms are both members of the Hybrid Memory Cube consortium and Samsung might not have many other options as it looks for external suppliers.
Japanese memory maker Elpida is still languishing in bankruptcy court, although a deal with Micron is edging closer to being finalised, which leaves SK Hynix as the only realistic option to meet the volume demand that Samsung's smartphones are likely to generate.
Samsung had not responded to The INQUIRER's request for comment at time of writing. µ