The memory market, long monopolized by international giants, has finally welcomed Chinese players. “Storage is not a good business, and I can be very responsible and say it’s harder than doing CPU at Intel,” said Simon Yang, CEO of Yangtze Memory , when confronted with eight major partners who have experienced the birth of domestic NAND FLASH with Yangtze Memory ”
Zhao Weiguo, chairman of Yangtze Memory and chairman and CEO of Ziguang Group, also admitted at the scene that, more than three years after its establishment in July 2016, Yangtze Memory, “the largest project in the history of China’s semiconductors”, experienced research and development from 32 to 64, a process that is not easy.
At the same time, after more than a year of the Great Depression memory market gradually rebounded, Yangtze Memory Storage, a domestic memory manufacturer will usher in a good opportunity to develop.
Memory accounts for about one-third of the world’s semiconductor output and the market is highly concentrated. Samsung, Kioxia, Western Data, Micron, Intel andSK Hynix accounted for 99.3 percent of the global NAND Flash market in the third quarter of 2019, according to THE DRAMeXchange, a market research firm.
However, Yang is more confident about his products, “This is the first time we have launched Xtacking technology across the board, we have the best storage density in the 64-tier generation, and the competition’s 96-tier product gap is within 10%.” So as long as we have the scale, the 64-tier product can still have gross margin, now the main bottleneck in the scale. ”
Xtacking is an innovative architecture for flash memory that enables peripheral circuits and storage units to be machined on two separate wafers, enabling the selection of more advanced logic processes, allowing NAND to achieve higher I/O interface speeds and more operational capabilities. When the two wafers are completed, Xtacking can combine two wafers in one through millions of verticalintered channels (VIATs) in just one processing step.
In September 2019, Yangtze Memory announced that it had begun mass production of 64-tier 256Gb TLC 3D NAND flash memory to meet the needs of mainstream market applications such as SSDs and embedded storage. At present, this product has good feedback in the market.
Phison Electronics has the Yangtze MEMORY first generation of 32-layer flash memory into all its domestic products, including set-top boxes, smart speakers, digital television, etc. have been actively shipped, “to prove that the product is not a problem, to the second generation of 64-tier products, I am particularly surprised, because the problem than other Japanese, Korean, American enterprises less, These businesses have been repeating problems from the first generation to the second generation. Pan Jiancheng, chairman and CEO of Phison Electronics, said.
For product quality and positioning, Yang Shining stressed: “We have to keep the bottom line of product quality, we now know that products by Yangtze memory , not the lowest end, sold on the ground, we must at least reach the enterprise-level specifications.” ”
In addition to technology, ecology is an important factor restricting the development of domestic chips. Electronics can only continue to improve if they go into application site. Domestic memory to grow nature is also inseparable from the market and ecology. Phison has long focused on the development of flash master and the integration of storage solutions, through group-owned technology and IP, the integration of The Yangtze River storage 3D NAND flash memory, to help expand the market application and penetration.
China’s flash memory market points out that when other original plants reduce channel supply in 2020, It is reasonable for Yangtze Memory to choose to enter the channel market and replenish the supply, and can better balance the global flash memory market supply pattern.
At the same time, domestic suppliers can improve the timeliness of local supply, follow-up support will be better than overseas manufacturers. “Because the market is in China, the cost is lower in order to shorten the supply chain in domestic production. Now the domestic supply chain including packaging growth is very fast, so can be domestic production, domestic sales. Cai Huabo, chairman of Jiang Bolong Electronics, said.
Rising memory prices since 2016 have seen Samsung beat Intel to become the world’s largest semiconductor maker. By September 2018, memory was beginning to go downhill.
However, after falling to a trough in the third quarter of 2019, the storage market began to pick up again. According to IC Insights, a market research firm, the IC market will pick up in 2020, with NAND FLASH leading the growth of 19% in 2020.
NAND Flash prices continued to rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Jibang News. Contract prices for all types of products are expected to continue to rise in the first quarter of 2020, based on weak off-season demand performance, conservative supply growth and declining supplier inventories.
Pan Jiancheng told reporters that the current NAND FLASH supply is very tight, “I started ten years to see such a tight.” Because 5G yuan years, the game machine ran out, the capacity doubled. 2017, 2018 (flash) (flash) does not make money, lose money, (manufacturers) expansion of production has slowed down, will cause the whole year of tension in 2020. It may be a little weaker in the first half of 2021 and the second half will get better. ”
However, as Mr Yang points out, Yangtze Memory is facing the challenge of capacity climbing.
According to Yangtze Memory Market and Sales Senior Vice President Yan, the current Yangtze Memory has a 12-inch fab, planning full production capacity of 100,000 pieces / month, is expected to reach the end of 2020 capacity of 50,000 to 100,000 pieces / month, the follow-up will be further expanded according to market conditions. According to first financial understanding, the current production capacity of about 20,000 pieces / month.
Yang Daohong, vice chairman of Yangtze Memory , has reportedly said that it will reach a 64-story 3D flash memory product production capacity of 100,000 pieces per month as soon as possible, and complete 300,000 pieces per month capacity on schedule.
Zhai disclosed that the products that integrate Yangtze Memory 3D NAND Flash will be gradually available by the end of this year. The first is for the market for consumer electronics and mobile phones, followed by SSD products for PCs and servers. Among them, in the solid-state flash market will be based on customer needs, has launched for PC, server and large data center products.
Yangtze Memory does not disclose the current yield, but Yang confirmed that the next-generation product planning will skip the 96 thfloor and go directly to the 128-tier 3D NAND flash memory development. Although the first step of the Long March was completed, the burden of the Yangtze Memory is still not light. In 2020, Samsung,SK Hynix, Meiguang, Kioxia, Western Data and other international mainstream manufacturers will fully enter the 128-story 3D NAND, Yangtze Memory still needto catch up.