ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) announces the start of production of its own DRAM chips in China. The equivalent of around 21.1 billion US dollars should have flowed into the development of DRAM chips and the construction of a new production facility in Hefei, it said at the 2019 World Manufacturing Convention. CXMT is funded by the Chinese government and aims to make the country less dependent on external suppliers.
So far, the two South Korean companies Samsung and SK Hynix and the US manufacturer Micron share mainly the DRAM market – Chinese companies have so far delivered no significant quantities. The 8-gigabit memory devices run off the assembly line in a 10 nanometer-class process – everything is from 10 to 19 nm. Various media report concretely on an 18-nm process at CXMT. The competition recently switched to 12- and 16-nm technology, so that there would be a small advantage. Among other things, 32 GB DDR4 UDIMMs are available with the current manufacturing processes.
By the end of the year, CXMT would like to expose 120,000 300-mm wafers per month, putting it at the same level as Samsung’s and SK Hynix’s large-scale production facilities, which, on the whole, have greater production capacity.
As LPDDR4 in Chinese smartphones
The memory chips will first land as LPDDR4 RAM in Chinese smartphones. If Huawei, Xiaomi and Co. buy less chips at the established sizes, this could have an impact on global storage prices in the future. In the future, China also wants to become more independent in server systems.
CXMT used to operate under the name Innotron Memory and, according to public information, has completely developed the DRAM itself. There are also Xi’an UniIC Semiconductors using technology from Infineon and Qimonda, Fujian Jinhua aka JICC and Ziguang. The US – home of Micron – had severely hampered JICC operations through export restrictions at the beginning of the year.