Apple is helping Chinas YMTC solve flash memory problems
Hardware

Apple is helping China’s YMTC solve flash memory problems

The Chinese company YMTC (Yangtze Memory Technology Co.) is one of the most competitive Chinese electronics manufacturers. And in doing so, she was helped by a somewhat unexpected ally – Apple. The American giant helped a Chinese company hire Western specialists who ensured it reduced error rates and increased productivity, he said New York Times citing their own sources.

    Image source: ymtc.com

Image source: ymtc.com

The 3D NAND memory chips produced by YMTC are based on the unique Xtacking architecture – a memory chip is assembled from two crystals that are stacked on top of each other. The actual memory module is formed on one, the peripheral logic on the other. With through-silicon interconnects (TSV), the 3D NAND chip offers the best of both worlds: a dense memory array and a fast interface. That is, high-density and high-speed chips are obtained.

YMTC competitors produce memory arrays and logic on a single die, making it difficult to increase the speed of the interface, and consumer SSDs cannot unleash the full potential of PCIe 5.0 x4. On the other hand, the technology proposed by YMTC is much more complex than the solutions used by Kioxia and Western Digital, Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron. The Chinese company could not achieve a sufficiently high level of production of quality products (there were many shortcomings), and also stalled in expanding production. Apple reportedly helped YMTC hire specialists to fix the issues.

Apple uses 3D NAND memory in the vast majority of its products, which means it benefits from diversifying supplies so manufacturers offer better prices. However, as Washington imposes sanctions on the Chinese semiconductor industry, Apple has given up its intention to use YMTC products in devices sold in China. Due to sanctions, the leading manufacturers of silicon wafers have now stopped working with the company.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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