Chinese 3D-NAND flash coming this year?

May 08, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Yangtze Memory Technology Co. (YMTC) intends to be making 32-layer 3D-NAND flash memory chip by the end of 2017, according to a Digitimes article quoting Charles Kau, acting chairman of the Wuhan based company.

The company – also known as Yangtze River Storage – then plans to move quickly to 64-layer 3D-NAND and in addition is considering developing its own DRAM manufacturing technology in a 18nm manufacturing process, the report said.

This is rapid movement for a company that was only formed in mid-2016 but it is a clear part of Chinese government's plan to build autonomous capability in the production of key semiconductor components.

YMTC was founded on July 16, 2016 by China's Tsinghua Unigroup, which owns 51 percent of the company, with help from the national investment fund taking 25 percent and a number of smaller municipal funds from the province of Hubei holding the remainder, the report said.

YMTC then acquired a 100 percent stake in established chip manufacturer XMC, otherwise known as Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a volume producer of NOR flash and image sensor fabrication that had broken ground on a wafer fab designed for the production of 3D NAND flash memory. This wafer fab is expected to begin volume production in 2018 with an eventually capacity of 300,000 wafers per month. As a result of being XMC YMTC will have two manufacturing sites in China - one in Wuhan and the other in Nanjing. Simon Yang, previously CEO of XMC, was appointed CEO of YMTC in October 2016.

Kau is a former chairman of Inotera, a Taiwanese memory that has been acquired by Micron. And about 50 Taiwanese engineers are said to have joined YMTC. However Micron is suing some of its former Taiwanese employees who have moved to Chinese companies, alleging appropriation of technology.

The report quotes Kau as saying: "I personally believe that Micron is the best partner for Yangtze River Storage to develop DRAM and 3D NAND chips. But now the political atmosphere is unfavorable to us."

Related links and articles:

www.xmcwh.com

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