Changxin Memory Technologies has initiated DRAM chip sales to become the first Chinese DRAM chip supplier. Chinese companies are increasing their presence in the DRAM as well as NAND flash market.
Changxin Memory Technologies’ new products are 8 GB DDR4 mainly used in computers and 2 GB and 4 GB LPDDR4X for use in smartphones. The former are currently produced using a 19-nm process and a 1x-nm process will be put into operation within this quarter so that the monthly production capacity can be increased to at least 40,000 units before the end of this year. Earlier, in May 2016, the company built DRAM R&D and production facilities in Hefei, Anhui by investing 150 billion yuan.
“Unlike a NAND flash memory, a DRAM chip can be used only after its quality and performance are guaranteed,” said an industry expert, adding, “Although Chinese DRAM companies’ productivity is still low, their products can threaten the South Korean semiconductor industry within five years.”
Chinese DRAM companies are still far behind their South Korean counterparts in terms of technology and production capacity alike. It is said that Changxin’s new products are inferior in quality and technology to those of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Still, it is also pointed out that their threat should not be underestimated with South Korean LCD panel manufacturers having already collapsed due to Chinese LCD panel manufacturers’ dumping prices based on the Chinese government’s support.
These days, China is making a huge investment in the semiconductor sector. Last year, China’s investment in semiconductor equipment added up to US$12.91 billion whereas South Korea’s totaled US$10.52 billion. For reference, the respective figures were US$13.1 billion and US$17.67 billion in the previous year and are estimated to reach US$14.92 billion and US$10.34 billion this year.