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Micron builds new factories to intensify competition in the DRAM market, and has limited impact on short-term supply

Time:2020-09-07 Views:393
According to the latest news, Micron plans to file an application for the construction of the A5 plant project in 2021, and continue to increase its investment in DRAM, which will be used for the development of miniaturization technology after the 1Znm process.
 
It is reported that Micron’s current layout in Taiwan includes Zhongke’s front-end wafer manufacturing plants A1 and A2 and back-end packaging plants. There are two plants A and B in Taoyuan. The 1Znm production line is mainly located in the Taichung plant, while the Taoyuan plant is Mainly 1ynm mass production technology. In addition, Micron is building a new clean room in the A3 factory, and it is estimated that 1Znm or 1α technology will be put into mass production in 2021, further expanding the scale of mass production of advanced technologies.

Micron‘s 2021 A5 plant construction plan mainly demonstrates Micron‘s optimistic view on the future development of DRAM, and also enhances Micron‘s important strategic position in the DRAM production base in Taiwan. However, at present, Micron has not disclosed the details of the A5 production plan, nor will it comment on the location of the new plant.
 
Micron continues to invest and build factories, which will have limited impact on the short-term DRAM market, and new capacity will increase in 2021
 
According to data from ChinaFlashMarket, the overall sales of DRAM in the second quarter of 2020 was US$17.06 billion, an increase of 15% from the previous quarter and a year-on-year increase of 16%. Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron accounted for more than 95% of the market share. Global monopoly position, while Micron‘s market share accounted for 21.2%, ranking third, the original DRAM expansion action has a profound impact on the market.
In 2020, due to the impact of the “epidemic”, the global economy will be depressed, especially in the second half of the year. According to ChinaFlashMarket‘s quotation, in the past two months, server DRAM has seen a small price drop, and consumer memory The price of strips has fallen by more than 10%, and the price of some products has fallen by more than 20%. Storage industry chain companies including original factories and brand factories are facing pressure on shipments and profits.
 
September is the traditional "stocking period". Coupled with the impact of Huawei‘s stocking and tight logistics, the industry market orders have improved slightly, the channel market inquiries have also increased, and market prices have begun to warm up. However, the A5 factory is another new factory construction project of Micron after the new factory of A3, which is intended to continue to increase its investment in the DRAM field. Faced with the news of Micron‘s investment expansion, industry insiders will inevitably worry that it may restrain the current market demand from picking up.
 
However, according to the progress of the investment and construction of the factory, Micron is building a new clean room for the A3 factory. It is estimated that 1Znm or 1α technology will be put into mass production in Q1 of 2021. The A5 factory is planned to start construction in 2021. The estimated time node for production It will be in 2022, which means that the significant increase in DRAM output caused by Micron’s investment will begin in 2021, so the short-term impact on the DRAM market is limited.
 
The EUV process has started the battle, and Micron’s new A5 plant may be prepared for the introduction of EUV process

In 2020, the three original DRAM technologies such as Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix will mainly advance from 1Ynm to 1Znm, which is also the third generation of DRAM 10nm technology. But after DRAM reaches the fourth-generation 10nm level, the original factory will introduce EUV technology on a large scale.
In terms of EUV process, Samsung has been introducing EUV process from 1Znm process, which can be said to seize the opportunity. In March of this year, Samsung took the lead in announcing that it had successfully shipped 1 million of the industry‘s first 10nm-class (D1x) DDR4 modules based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. In August, Samsung once again announced that its second production line (P2 factory) in Pyeongtaek, South Korea has begun to introduce extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology to mass produce 16Gb LPDDR5. The new 16Gb LPDDR5 is based on Samsung‘s third-generation 10nm-class (1znm) process, with higher capacity and higher performance, which can meet the application of 5G and AI functions in next-generation smartphones.
 
In order to speed up the development of next-generation technology, SK Hynix has also established a research team within SK Hynix to conduct related research on EUV lithography of DRAM technology, and start to develop 1anm DRAM technology. The internal code name is "Nan Pole Star". Around 15nm, EUV lithography technology is expected to be introduced in the process.
 
In addition, SK Hynix is ​​also building the "M16" factory in Icheon. The factory is currently under construction. After the equipment is installed, it is planned to be put into operation in January 2021. The initial output of 12-inch wafers will be 15,000 to 20,000 wafers per month, or It is used to expand the production of new generation DDR5, and introduce EUV process to mass produce 1anm DRAM.
 
As for Micron, the output of DRAM 1Ynm and 1Znm technology nodes has exceeded 50%. According to the plan, 1Znm DRAM technology will develop to 1α, 1β, and 1γ. Two years ago, Micron stated that EUV would not be used before the 1α and 1β processes. However, with Samsung’s introduction of the EUV process and the continuous decline of DRAM prices in the past two years, Micron has re-evaluated the EUV process’s introduction time point, and the A5 that will be planned for construction in 2021 may be a rainy day to bring more Excellent DRAM cost-effectiveness.
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