U.S. export controls make it difficult for YMTC to further improve its technology.

(Taken from the Internet, composed by American editors)

[Compilation of Wei Guojin/Taipei Report] The South China Morning Post reported that under the export control of the United States, China’s most important memory chip manufacturer, Yangtze River Storage, is facing a situation where innovation is difficult to break through. The construction of the second fab may be delayed.

According to the report, Wuhan-based YMTC has been China's hope for a breakthrough in the global NAND flash memory market since its establishment in 2016.

That hope has now been dashed.

In December last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce put YMTC and 35 other Chinese entities on a trade blacklist, restricting them from purchasing U.S. products and services.

U.S. authorities accused YMTC of supplying Huawei and monitor maker Hikvision, which are already on the blacklist.

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Chip experts believe that YMTC's ability to improve technology and mass-produce will be frustrated by the inability to freely obtain American chip equipment and services.

Nicolas Gaudois, head of Asia-Pacific technology research at UBS Group, pointed out, "U.S. sanctions make it very difficult for China's memory industry to continue to develop; obviously this limits the ability of relevant companies to upgrade advanced technologies."

The TrendForce report pointed out, "Due to the inability to obtain the support of key equipment suppliers, YMTC is facing major technical obstacles in the development of its most advanced 3D NAND flash technology Xtacking 3.0, especially in improving the 128-layer and 232-layer process quality. rate will be extremely challenging.”

An industry source said YMTC will even be forced to delay the construction of its second fab due to disruptions in the procurement supply chain.

Another industry expert pointed out that Yangtze River Storage does not lack exposure equipment, because it has purchased some before the implementation of the regulation. The challenge it faces is the etching tools from suppliers such as Lam Research. The NAND wafer process is critical, especially as the company competes with rivals to add stacks and increase storage density.

In addition to the impact of production, TrendForce also said that NAND flash memory buyers outside of China now have great reservations about adopting YMTC technology, "Due to technological stagnation, YMTC will gradually lose its cost competitiveness , and its market share will continue to be eroded.”

In order to avoid this fate, TrendForce said that YMTC may return to the production of 2D NAND flash memory, or transform into a supplier of logic chips produced by a mature process.

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