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SK Hynix says has developed its most advanced 238-layer storage chip

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FILE PHOTO: Employees walk past the logo of SK Hynix at its headquarters in Seongnam
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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's SK Hynix Inc has developed its most advanced NAND flash chip made up of 238 layers of memory cells for use in PC storage devices and later smartphones and servers, the world's second-largest memory chip maker said on Wednesday.

SK Hynix described it as the "industry's highest" NAND flash chip and it follows U.S. rival Micron Technology Inc saying last week it had begun shipping a 232-layer NAND chip.

SK Hynix said the new 238-layer chip is the smallest NAND flash chip in size, boasts a 50% improvement in data transfer speed over previous generation chips and power efficiency as well, as it cuts the volume of energy consumed for data reading by 21%.

The company plans to start mass production of the chip in the first half of 2023.

SK Hynix and Solidigm, the new name of Intel's NAND business which SK acquired, hold a combined 18% share of the NAND flash market, behind Samsung Electronics with 35.3% and Kioxia with 18.9%, according to first-quarter data from TrendForce.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; editing by Jason Neely)