SK Hynix has launched a yearly contest that rewards the best failed research ideas in a bid to promote a company culture that speaks up.

South Korea's second largest semiconductor maker said past failures were important assets and that it will form a database of the failed cases to share in research and development.

The contest has 250 registered cases of noteworthy ideas that failed to be commercialised, including those with a cause that was later figured out.

These include semiconductor design, materials, and processes, as well as management of factory line and equipment. Analysis, simulation, strategy, planning, and safety cases were also reviewed.

Problem-solving and an employee's willingness to speak up were important to develop innovative semiconductor technology, said CEO Park Sung-wook, in a statement.

SK Hynix rose last year to become the world's third largest semiconductor firm behind Intel and compatriot Samsung. Profits for the company were boosted by record demand for memory chips, much like Samsung[1].

Last year, SK Hynix was the first to develop a 72-layer 3D NAND ahead of rival Toshiba[2].

It also separated its System LSI division in a bid to hasten the development of logic chip portfolios.


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