Hanatec, one of Samsung Electronics’ design houses for its foundry business, will be merging with domestic rival Silicon Harmony, with the move taking effect as of Nov. 1 this year.
Hanatec’s workforce is composed of 55 employees, while Silicon Harmony has 23. Both have annual sales of around 7 billion won. Following the merger, the chiefs of each entity will be named co-CEO.
“We believe the merger will create an opportunity for us to combine our competitiveness for an improved foundry design service,” said Lee Jae-man, head of Hanatec.
Semiconductor design houses serve as a bridge between fabless chip makers that engage only in chip design, and the foundry firms that handle the actual chip production. Due to their lack of original chip brands, design houses are often referred to as ‘chipless’ firms.
Some major fabless firms own their own design house organizations, but smaller companies usually choose to partner with them, due to cost issues.
The design houses working with Samsung Electronics has been struggling to meet the growing demand triggered by an increase in 200mm foundry clients. This is where Silicon Harmony can step in, since it usually is commissioned by global foundry companies, most of which use 14nm finFET technologies, licensed out from Samsung.
“We hope to create the momentum to pursue bigger collaboration with fabless companies to contribute to the local system semiconductor chip eco-system,” said Lee.
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