SK Hynix is expected to launch in-house developed controller chips for eMMC devices in 2014, optimizing on its acquisition of the eMMC device controller unit of Taiwan-based Innostor Technology in August 2013, according to industry sources.
SK Hynix is currently procuring eMMC device controllers mainly from Silicon Motion Technology, said the sources. It remains to be seen whether SK Hynix will continue to work with the partner after rolling out its own solutions for eMMC devices.
Many NAND flash companies, such as Samsung Electronics and Toshiba/SanDisk, are already capable of developing their own eMMC device controllers, while also procuring chips from flash device controller specialists, the sources observed.
Some players like Kingston Technology have formed a joint venture with flash device controller supplier Phison Electronics allowing the module house to boost its competitiveness in the eMMC field with a steady supply of controller chips, the sources indicated.
Micron Technology reportedly is looking to establish a team engaged in the development of eMMC device controller solutions, the sources noted. The US firm is buying flash controller chips mainly from Phison, the sources said.
The eMMC market is poised to expand significantly in 2014, driven by robust demand for smartphone and tablet applications. Competition in the market is expected to grow during the year, the sources believe.