[News] Bypassing U.S. Restrictions? CXMT Showcases GAA Technology for 3nm Chips

2023-12-14 Semiconductors editor

According to a news report from UDN, despite U.S. restrictions on the exportation of technologies related to advanced semiconductor processes, China is fortifying its independent chip development capabilities.

ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT), a Chinese DRAM chip manufacturer, presented a paper at the 69th IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, showcasing a Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology applicable to cutting-edge 3nm chips.

According to an article from South China Morning Post, while CXMT has not yet released sample products, the evidence of the company’s next-generation memory production has caught the attention of industry analysts. This is noteworthy because the design of such chips typically involves technology subject to U.S. export restrictions.

Frederick Chen, a memory expert at Winbond Electronics, a Taiwan-based company, said the evidence of progress by CXMT is “impressive”, as it shows that the Chinese company is not far away from state-of-the-art research and products. “It’s significant because Samsung Electronics is trying to do the same.” Chen said.

Regarding this matter, CXMT has maintained a relatively low profile. Reportedly, in a statement to the South China Morning Post on Wednesday, CXMT stated that the paper “describes fundamental research related to DRAM structure and the feasibility of 4F2 design” and “it has nothing to do with CXMT’s current production processes.” This may have implied that the conceptual design is still distant from becoming a market-ready product.

“Any accusation that CXMT is violating US sanctions or export controls is completely inaccurate,” the company’s export control experts said. “We firmly believe that the free flow of ideas that IEDM seeks to foster is essential for the industry’s innovation and development.”

At the end of this November, CXMT released China’s first LPDDR5 chip, marking the entry of Chinese manufacturers into the DDR5 competition and narrowing the technological gap with leading memory suppliers such as South Korea’s Samsung and SK Hynix.

(Photo credit: CXMT)

Please note that this article cites information from UDN and South China Morning Post.