Second Chinese chipmaker signs up for Weebit's ReRAM

February 24, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Second Chinese chipmaker signs up for Weebit's ReRAM
Weebit Nano has signed a deal with startup company SiEn Integrated Circuits Co. Ltd. of QingDao in northeastern China to investigate the use of Weebit's ReRAM technology.

Weebit's technology is based on the use of thin layers of fab-friendly silicon-oxide as a non-volatile memory element. The company is going through a similar development process with XTX Technology – also known as Paragon Technology – based in Shenzhen, GuangDong, China (see China's XTX adopts Weebit's ReRAM).

The ReRAM technology of Weebit Nano Ltd. (Hod Hasharon, Israel) could enhance SiEn's foundry offering by adding embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) capability to products manufactured by SiEn.

SiEn is China's first semiconductor company based on the so-called Communal Integrated Device Manufacturer (CIDM) model. This model aggregates companies with similar production line requirements and allows them to share common manufacturing and achieve economies of scale, with guaranteed share of output in proportion to their investment.

TSMC made a similar move back in 1996 with the establishment of WaferTech as a joint venture with TSMC, Altera, Analog Devices and ISSI as partners. WaferTech is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSMC and TSMC's only US based wafer fab.

SiEn also claims to have 15 billion RMB (about US$2.1 billion) in total investment. The first stage investment is around 7.8 billion RMB (about US$1.1 billion). The project's target is to build 200mm and 300mm wafer fabs and a photomask shop.

SiEn was established by Richard Chang, the founder of China's leading foundry, Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Chang worked for20 years at Texas Instruments Inc. And before founding SMIC in 2000 was employed by TSMC after the acquisition of Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. where he had been CEO. With this long experience Chang has created and managed more than 10 wafer fabs in the US, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Taiwan, and China.

Next: Hanoch and Chang

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