Through the SK ICT Alliance, the affiliates aim to jointly develop and invest in ICT convergence technologies


SK Telecom, SK Square, and SK hynix launch SK ICT Alliance. (Credit: SK Telecom)

South Korean conglomerate SK Group’s affiliates SK Telecom, SK Square, and SK Hynix have established a fund of over KRW1 trillion ($835.1m) to invest in companies with innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, metaverse, and semiconductors.

An announcement in this connection was made during the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES 2022) event in Las Vegas, US.

The three affiliates of the South Korean group launched the ‘SK ICT Alliance’, a partnership aimed to jointly develop and invest in information and communication technology (ICT) convergence technologies, and create opportunities in the global market.

Through the alliance, SK Telecom, SK Square, and SK Hynix hope to achieve global competitiveness in varied ICT areas like semiconductors, AI, and 5G.

The three firms intend to undertake joint business activities in the global market by utilising SK Square’s investment, the AI and 5G technologies of SK Telecom, and the future semiconductor technologies of SK hynix.

To begin with, the trio plan to create synergies by launching SK Telecom’s AI chip SAPEON to the global market. They will jointly invest to establish SAPEON as a company in the US with an aim to advance into the global AI semiconductor market.

SK Telecom is expected to steer the development of SAPEON-related technologies by making use of its capabilities in research and development (R&D) as well as its service experience gained in 5G and AI.

In the mid-to long-term, the South Korean Telecommunications company will plan to grow its SAPEON model line-up by developing AI chips exclusively for data centres and autonomous vehicles.

Furthermore, the company will promote synergies between its AI semiconductor and the semiconductor memory technologies of SK hynix, while also drawing strategic and financial investors by working together with SK Square.

SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang said: “By proactively responding to changes taking place in the areas of AI, metaverse and 5G, we will prepare ourselves for the next decade.”

SK Telecom also plans to expedite innovation in its three main services, namely T Universe, Ifland, and AI Agent. Besides, the company has plans to offer new services by adding connected intelligence to future devices like urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft, robots, and self-driving cars.

Meanwhile, SK Square is set to foray into the new global blockchain market by leveraging Korbit, a virtual asset exchange, in which it had recently invested. The company plans to develop a blockchain-based economic system in partnership with the Ifland metaverse platform.