[News] China’s Chip Production Capacity Reportedly Set to Grow 60% in 3 Years, Doubling in 5 Years

According to a report from IJIWEI, research by Barclays analysts indicates that China’s chip manufacturing capacity is expected to more than double within the next 5 to 7 years, surpassing market expectations significantly. The analysis of 48 chip manufacturers with production facilities in China suggests that 60% of the expected additional capacity may come online within the next 3 years.

TrendForce statistics reveal that, excluding 7 dormant wafer fabs, China currently has 44 wafer fabs, with 25 of them being 12-inch facilities, 4 of them 6-inch, and 15 8-inch wafer fabs/lines. Additionally, there are 22 wafer fabs under construction, with 15 of them being 12-inch facilities and 8 being 8-inch wafer fabs.

Companies like SMIC, Nexchip, CXMT and Silan plan to construct 10 more wafer fabs, including 9 12-inch and 1 8-inch wafer fab, by the end of 2024, bringing the total to 32 large-scale wafer fabs, all focusing on mature processes.

Chinese firms have accelerated the procurement of crucial chip manufacturing equipment to support capacity expansion. According to the previous report from South China Morning Post, the import value of lithography equipment from the Netherlands, a primary exporter, surged by 1050%, reflecting substantial orders for semiconductor equipment from China in 2023.

Barclays analysts suggest that most of the new capacity will be used for producing chips using older technologies. These mature semiconductors (28nm and above) lag behind the most advanced chips by at least a decade but are widely used in household appliances and automotive systems.

While these chips could theoretically lead to a market oversupply, Barclays believes it will take several years, possibly as early as 2026, depending on quality and any new trade restrictions.

Earlier, TrendForce released statistics projecting a global ratio of mature (>28nm) to advanced (<16nm) processes around 7:3 from 2023 to 2027. With China’s mature process capacity expected to grow from 29% to 33% by 2027, driven by policies promoting local production, giants like SMIC and HuaHong Group are anticipated to lead the charge, potentially causing a flood of mature processes into the global market and triggering a price war.

TrendForce notes that as China’s mature process capacities emerge, localization trends for Driver IC, CIS/ISP, and Power Discretes will become more pronounced, leading to risks of client attrition and pricing pressures for second and third-tier foundries with similar processes.

Please note that this article cites information from IJIWEI

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

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.


[News] CXMT’s LPDDR5 Release Fuels in Chinese Memory Market, Spotlight Progress of Global Memory Giants

On November 28, CXMT made a highlight in the Chinese market by unveiling its latest DRAM LPDDR5. It becomes the first company in China to self-develop and manufacture such DRAMs. CXMT said it has already received validation from major Chinese smartphone brands like Xiaomi and Transsion, signaling plans for swift market commercialization.

This launch not only improves the quality and cost-effectiveness of applications in personal and business sectors but also accelerates the industrialization of the Chinese DRAM industry, positioning CXMT at the forefront of the LPDDR5 era.

Latest Developments in CXMT’s LPDDR5 Strategy

The “LP” in LPDDR stands for Low Power, representing a type of Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) product with lower power consumption compared to DDR. The JEDEC(Solid State Technology Association) categorizes DRAM into three kinds based on different application needs: Standard DDR, LPDDR, and GDDR. DDR is primarily used in servers and PCs, LPDDR in mobile phones and consumer electronics, and GDDR in image processing.

LPDDR5, the fifth generation of low-power double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory, is the latest focus for CXMT. The company officially launched its LPDDR5 series, including 12Gb LPDDR5 chips, 12GB LPDDR5 chips with package on package (PoP) packaging, and 6GB LPDDR5 chips with die stacking chip (DSC) packaging.

CXMT’s LPDDR5 chips incorporate robust RAS (Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability) features, utilizing on-die error correction code (ECC) technology for real-time error correction, minimizing system failures, ensuring data security, and enhancing stability.

International Memory Giants Vying for Market Share

In September 2023, Samsung announced the development of a series of Low-Power Compressed Additional Memory Modules (LPCAMM), utilizing LPDDR5X memory. During the “2023 Investor Forum” held in Hong Kong in November, Samsung revealed plans to prepare new memory solutions for the automotive sector, including the new LPDDR5X.

SK Hynix officially supplied customers with 16GB capacity LPDDR5T (Low Power Double Data Rate 5 Turbo) products in November, marking the fastest mobile DRAM product with a transmission speed of up to 9.6Gbps.

Micron introduced LPDDR5X DRAM in 2022, with its LPDDR5X-9600 utilizing the latest 1β process technology. With a maximum capacity of 16GB, its speed is 12% higher than the previously fastest LPDDR5X-8533.

Promising Future for LPDDR5 Market

From the current DRAM market share perspective, TrendForce’s statistics on industry revenue from the second quarter show that Samsung has a market share of 39.6%, SK Hynix has 30.1%, and Micron (25.8%), together accounting for over 95% of the market share. Including Nanya Technology (2%) and Winbond Electronics (0.9%), the top five companies account for 98.4%.

Although industry points out that, compared to global giants, China-produced LPDDR5 currently has certain gaps in terms of capacity, speed, and other aspects, it is essential to note that LPDDR5 is trending towards becoming the mainstream in smartphone products. CXMT’s entry into this field coincides with the boom in LPDDR5 development.

TrendForce’s recent research on LPDDR indicates that LPDDR4X remains predominant in the mainstream market, with LPDDR5(X) focus on the high-end market for smartphones. However, with the introduction of Intel’s new Alder lake platform, LPDDR5(X) is gaining prominence in the laptop sector. It is estimated that the market share of LPDDR5(X) will exceed 25% in 2023.

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[News] CXMT Launches First Domestic LPDDR5, Collaborating with Industry Partners for Market Expansion

On November 28, CXMT revealed its latest DRAM product, LPDDR5. As the first Chinese brand to independently develop and manufacture LPDDR5 products, CXMT marks a breakthrough in the Chinese market and broadens its product reach in the mobile terminal market, reported by MooreNews.

CXMT’s LPDDR5, the fifth generation of low-power double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory, boasts a 50% increase in single-die density and speed compared to LPDDR4X, respectively reaching 12Gb and 6400Mbps. Notably, power consumption is reduced by 30%. Featuring robust RAS features, including on-die error correction code (ECC) for real-time error correction, LPDDR5 enable data security and system stability. The 12GB LPDDR5 chip from CXMT is the first product adopting Package on Package (PoP) stacking for the company.

The launch of LPDDR5 by CXMT enhances the quality and reduces costs for personal and business applications, further expanding its footprint in the mobile market. As the first company in launching independently developed and manufactured LPDDR5 products in China, CXMT accelerates the industrialization of the DRAM industry, spearheading the Chinese DRAM industry into the LPDDR5 era.

LPDDR5 chips bring faster speeds and lower power consumption to mobile electronic devices, significantly improving overall product performance. According to CXMT’s website, LPDDR5 products have already received validation from major Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi and Transsion, with plans to expedite overall market commercialization.

In its product lineup, CXMT specializes in DRAM design, with DDR4, LPDDR4X, and DDR4 modules catering to diverse storage needs in terms of performance, capacity, and usage. Collaborating through joint research and development with leading customer companies, CXMT delivers highly customized integrated solutions, effectively meeting the varied demands of the market. The introduction of LPDDR5 further solidifies CXMT’s position in the mobile market.
(Image: CXMT)


[News] China’s Big Fund Drive Changxin Xinqiao towards 3-Year Memory Chip Mass Production

Following China’s Big Fund’s substantial $14.56 billion RMB investment in Changxin Xinqiao Storage Technology, a memory chip manufacturer, at the end of October, there are now reports of an additional $39 billion RMB injection.

China is actively building a domestic semiconductor supply chain, and according to Nikkei Asia, Changxin Xinqiao is set to utilize this funding to expedite the construction of its facility in Hefei, Anhui province, with the aim of achieving mass production within a span of three years.

Hefei is also the location of a production facility for ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT), a major semiconductor manufacturer specializing in DRAM production. Changxin Xinqiao shares some shareholders and its general manager with CXMT, according to Tianyancha.

Chinese media points out that Changxin Xinqiao has ambitious plans to produce DRAM chips in Hefei, destined for use in computers and a wide array of electronic devices. At present, Changxin Xinqiao has initiated the tendering process for new facility equipment and is poised to accelerate procurement and related procedures using the recently acquired funding.

With support from the Hefei City government, Changxin Xinqiao initiated the DRAM factory construction project in 2019 and laid out a policy to make use of domestically manufactured semiconductor production equipment.

(Image: CXMT)

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