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SK, Qualcomm discuss cooperation on memory chips

Their strategic cooperation is likely to range from 5G network to next-generation chips and the metaverse

By Jan 07, 2022 (Gmt+09:00)

SK Telecom's latest mobile navigation services were introduced at CES 2022.
SK Telecom's latest mobile navigation services were introduced at CES 2022.

LAS VEGAS – Chief executives of South Korea's energy-to-telecom conglomerate SK Group on Thursday met with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon and discussed cooperation in their memory chip business, including co-developing high-performance chips used in data centers and computers.

At the meeting held on the sidelines of CES 2022 in Las Vegas, SK Hynix Inc. Vice Chairman and Co-CEO Park Jung-ho exchanged ideas with Amon and other senior executives of the US wireless technology leader to team up in mobile businesses, according to SK officials.

They spoke about ways to deepen their strategic cooperation in areas ranging from 5G networks, next-generation semiconductor chips and smart factory systems to the virtual space of the metaverse. Smart factories adopt AI and robot technologies to improve productivity and power usage efficiency.

SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang and SK Hynix Co-CEO Lee Seok-hee attended the meeting as well. The two SK Group units are South Korea's No. 1 mobile carrier and the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, respectively.

"In this competitive environment for information and communications technology (ICT), cross-border cooperation is not a choice but a must," Vice Chairman Park told reporters.

"SK's ICT companies will create borderless cooperation with global companies in all ICT-related fields and become an innovative leader in those areas," he said.

Park also leads SK Square, an investment-focused unit spun off from SK Telecom Co. late last year.

SK Group expects its strategic partnership with Qualcomm to provide access to the US company's patents, creating synergy for both its consumer-to-business services and business-to-business operations.

Qualcomm is the world's largest patent owner in relation to chips used in smartphones and other semiconductor devices. It is expanding its foothold in the fields of connected cars, healthcare and the internet of things.

Last year, Qualcomm agreed to cooperate with LG Electronics Inc. in the development of 5G wireless platforms for next-generation connected cars. Both companies have maintained a business tie-up since 2004 to develop telematics technology, connected car solutions and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

CARBON TO GREEN STRATEGY

Separately, SK Innovation Co. held its first strategy review meeting this year in Las Vegas, assessing progress it has made and specific action plans to reduce carbon emissions.
SK Innovation's executives held a strategy review meeting on the sidelines of CES 2022.
SK Innovation's executives held a strategy review meeting on the sidelines of CES 2022.

The energy and chemical subsidiary of the country’s third-largest conglomerate in July 2021 announced a plan that its green projects will account for 70% of its entire business portfolio by 2025 from last year's 30% to reduce its carbon footprint and create new sustainable business opportunities.

The following month, its parent SK Group pledged to achieve carbon neutrality prior to 2050, the year set forth by the United Nations to reach net-zero carbon emissions globally.

Write to Min-Ki Koo at kook@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.
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