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Latest Events

It has a profound impact on the storage industry. The major events and technological breakthroughs in 2020 are all here

Time:2020-12-18 Views:274
For the storage industry, 2020 is an extraordinary year. In the first half of the year, it suffered from the impact of "epidemic situation" and international trade war. In the second half of the year, semiconductor chip prices rose due to the shortage of wafer foundry capacity, and the market of storage industry fluctuated violently.
Although the storage industry is facing great challenges, it is still unable to resist the pace of the development of the storage industry. In order to better cope with market changes, the original factories such as Samsung, Kaixia, western data, SK Hynix have made new changes and breakthroughs in investment, technology and strategy.
NAND Technology: SK Hynix and Meguiar continue to break through 176 layers of 3D NAND
In 2020, Samsung, Jiaxia, western data, Meguiar and SK Hynix will mainly expand the popularity of 9x layer 3D NAND in the market. At the same time, Samsung 1XX layer, western data / armor 112 layer, SK Hynix 128 layer, micron 128 layer, Intel 144 layer 3D NAND continue to increase the proportion of production, and actively promote the application in SSD products.
By the end of 2020, micron and SK Hynix have publicly announced that they will take the lead in making breakthroughs in 176 layer 3D NAND. Meguiar announced in November that it will start mass production of the world‘s first 176 layer 3D NAND flash. Its read delay and write delay will be improved by more than 35%. The maximum data transfer rate will be 1600 MT / s, which will increase by 33%. The performance of hybrid workload will be improved by 15%. The compact design will reduce the size of bare chip by about 30%. Each wafer will produce more GB equivalent NAND flash.
Sk Hynix announced the launch of 176 layer 4D NAND in December. Compared with the previous generation, the bit productivity will be increased by more than 35%, the reading speed will be increased by 20%, and the data transmission speed will also be increased by 33%, reaching 1.6 Gbps. It is expected that UFS and SSD products based on 176 layer 4D NAND technology will be launched in 2021.
In addition, Samsung also said that it would mass produce the seventh generation v-nand in 2021, using the "double stack" technology. The specific number of stacking layers was not disclosed. However, Samsung used the "single stack" technology to produce 3D NAND in 128 layer process nodes. Samsung also stressed that the "double stack" technology is not only more competitive in technology, but also expected to stack 256 layers in 3D NAND, but it does not necessarily mean that Samsung‘s seventh generation NAND will have this configuration.
DRAM Technology: Samsung 1znm is the first to introduce EUV, and the original factory will enter a new stage of 1 α nm technology in 2021
In 2020, Samsung, Meguiar, SK Hynix and other DRAM technologies will be comprehensively promoted from 1ynm to 1znm, which is also the third generation of DRAM technology of 10nm level. After the fourth generation of 10nm level, it will be introduced into EUV process on a large scale.
In 2020, Samsung‘s mass-produced 16GB lpddr5 was introduced into EUV process for the first time. Based on 1znm process technology, the capacity of more advanced technology is increased by 33% compared with 12gb, and the package thickness is also reduced by 30%. At the same time, Samsung also plans to mass produce 16GB ddr5 / lpddr5 based on the fourth generation 10nm (1 α) EUV process in 2021.
Meguiar will increase the output of 1znm lpddr5 and promote continuous innovation of gddr6x. Meanwhile, 1 α nm DRAM, which is in the research and development stage, plans to mass produce in the first half of 2021. Under the mature yield, the bit quantity of 1 α nm process node is 40% higher than that of 1znm node wafer wafer. The 1 β nm process is in the initial stage of research and development.
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Sk Hynix plans to make use of the technical advantages of EUV to promote the mass production of the fourth generation of 10 nm (1a) DRAM. It is expected to start mass production of 1A nm DRAM in 2021.
Investment plant: Samsung Xi‘an phase II, pingze P2, Jiaxia K2, Fab7
Under the competition of storage industry, investment is essential. In 2020, Samsung will be put into operation in phase 1 of Xi‘an, China, and the second phase project will be completed in the second half of 2021. Meanwhile, pingze P2 plant will invest 8 trillion won to build NAND flash production line. It is planned to start mass production in the second half of 2021, and is planning to build a new P3 plant.
In the first half of 2020, a small number of new production bases will be built in the first half of 2022 in the western part of FabK, and a small amount of production base will be completed in the first half of 2020 with beikai. In addition, Kaixia also announced that it will expand the production base in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, and expand the production of K2 plant next to the existing K1 plant, which will start in the spring of 2021 and complete in the spring of 2022.
Meguiar is building a clean room in factory A3. It is estimated that it will put into mass production of 1znm or 1 α technology in 2021. At the same time, Meguiar also plans to apply for the construction of A5 plant project in 2021, continuously increase the investment in DRAM, which will be used for the development of micro technology after 1znm process, and further expand the mass production scale of advanced technology. As for SK Hynix, Lichuan M16 plant is expected to launch its products in the first half of 2021 and ship the products in the second half.
The second phase of the Yangtze River storage national memory base project also officially started construction. The total investment of the national storage base project reached 24 billion US dollars. The construction of 3D NAND chip factory was divided into two phases. The first phase started construction at the end of 2016 and built a production capacity of 100000 pieces / month. The planned production capacity of phase II was 200000 pieces / month. The monthly production capacity of the two projects reached 300000 pieces.
Strategic adjustment: major structural changes in the original plant will lead to global turbulence
1. Senior personnel transfer of SamSung company
In December 2020, Samsung changed the management of the company. Five Samsung executives changed personnel, three of whom were promoted
Lee Jae Seung, vice president of Samsung‘s consumer electronics division, was promoted to President of Samsung‘s consumer electronics division;
Lee Jung BAE, vice president of DRAM development of Samsung electronic storage division, was promoted to President of Samsung electronic storage business unit
Choi Si young, vice president of Samsung electronic memory manufacturing technology department, was promoted to President of Samsung Electronics Foundry Division.
In addition, Samsung has not arranged personnel to replace the chairman of the company, which is still vacant.
2. Western data integrates flash and HDD technology resources to establish an independent product business department
Western data will integrate flash and HDD technology resources, and establish an independent product business department, committed to providing diversified storage product portfolio solutions, which will make SSD and HDD product lines more flexible scheduling, learn from each other‘s strengths to better meet market demand.
3. Meanwhile, Toshiba plans to sell its shares in the company
Due to the continuous market volatility and the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of "epidemic", Jiaxia postponed the listing plan originally scheduled for October 6, 2020, and will continue to evaluate the appropriate time for listing. Industry insiders believe that if Jiaxia missed the February 2021 deadline, its IPO plan will be postponed to the second half of 2021.
It is worth noting that Toshiba, as one of the shareholders of Jiaxia, has indicated that it has no intention to continue to engage in the business related to memory, and announced in August 2020 that it will sell some of its common shares in Kexia.
4. Sk Hynix integrates DRAM and NAND flash
Sk Hynix announced at the end of 2019 that it would carry out a series of personnel transfer and business restructuring in 2020, in which DRAM and NAND flash were integrated together to realize unified management from development, manufacturing and post-processing of business. After the restructuring, Jin Kyo won, chief semiconductor technology expert of SK Hynix, was promoted to President of development and manufacturing, responsible for DRAM and NAND flash from development to mass production, and improving operational efficiency.
Sk Hynix announced in 2020 that it will invest 55 million US dollars to establish Gauss laboratory, which will realize manufacturing innovation through industrial AI solutions.
5. Intel sells NAND business and Dalian plant to sk Hynix
Following the termination of NAND flash technology cooperation between Intel and micron and the sale of all the shares of the joint venture factory to Meguiar, Intel also sold NAND business to sk Hynix, including the Dalian factory in China, which produces 3D NAND.
According to the agreement, Intel NAND SSD business, NAND components and wafer business, as well as NAND plant in Dalian, China, will be handed over to sk Hynix by the end of 2021, but the deal still needs to be approved by regulatory authorities. At the same time, Intel will continue to produce NAND wafers at its Dalian plant and retain all intellectual property rights related to NAND wafer manufacturing and design until the transaction is finally completed in March 2025. This production structure is to protect the legitimate ownership of intellectual property rights.
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