The-AIO is working on NAND controller

South Korea is the world’s largest producer of storage chips, with Samsung and SK Hynix accounting for 70% of the DRAM market share and 50% of the NAND flash memory market share. However, South Korea does not dominate all technologies related to storage chips, such as the controller used in conjunction with NAND flash memory, which is mostly provided by Taiwanese and Chinese mainland companies.

According to The Elec, The-AIO, a Korean IC design company, has designed a NAND flash memory controller that has passed quality tests by Samsung or SK Hynix. The CEO, Kwon Jin-hyoung, stated in an interview that The-AIO’s controller will be unveiled in April this year, with the goal of being applied to edge computing devices. Although Samsung and SK Hynix also develop controllers, they are mostly used for enterprise-level devices aimed at servers, and for edge computing devices they tend to introduce third-party solutions.

The-AIO NAND controller

The-AIO was founded in 2011, and its three founders previously worked at Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor storage division, with excellent skills and rich experience in both software and hardware. Kwon Jin-hyoung, along with The-AIO’s R&D director Han SeungHyun and executive Lee YoungMin, visited Shenzhen in 2019 to explore cooperation with domestic storage companies.

Kwon Jin-hyoung also stated that The-AIO focuses on four products, currently mainly used for SD cards and eMMC control chips, both of which are manufactured using TSMC’s 28nm process. The next generation of products may use a 12nm process and will then launch controllers that meet the needs of SSD and UFS storage. In addition, The-AIO will receive KRW 50 billion in investment this year.