China has a new RAM maker with big ambitions and

China has a new RAM maker with big ambitions and experienced executives

reportedthat the Shenzhen authorities participated in the establishment of a new company for the development and production of DRAM chips in the country in March. In the future, the new manufacturer will have to assert itself against the world market leaders from South Korea and the USA. An industry veteran from Japan, former head of Elpida Memory Yukio Sakamoto, has been invited to the position of Chief Strategist to implement an ambitious project.

    Image source: Nikkei Asian Review

Yukio Sakamoto. Image source: Nikkei Asian Review

The development and production of DRAM chips in China is taken over by a young company, SwaySure Technology. It is 100% owned by the state fund Shenzhen Major Industry Investment Group with an authorized capital of US$747 million. The real owners of SwaySure are the authorities of Shenzhen – a kind of Chinese “Silicon Valley”. This condition allows you to plan the work of the company for many years and set impressive goals. For example, Shenzhen authorities have set a target of building an impressive semiconductor industry cluster in the region by 2025. In particular, to create three major companies for the development of chips and three for the production of billions of dollars each.

“This will be my last job in life and I will do my best to help SwaySure achieve its strategic goals.” 74-year-old industry veteran Yukio Sakamoto said in a company statement.

Sakamoto ran Elpida when it filed for bankruptcy in 2012. In recent years, he served as senior vice president at Tsinghua Unigroup. Tsinghua himself dreamed of becoming the leading DRAM manufacturer in China, but there was not enough money for this and the direction had to be closed. Sakamoto resigned from Tsinghua Unigroup in the second half of 2021 and has now re-emerged as chief strategist at SwaySure.

Liu Xiaoqiang will lead SwaySure directly. In the past he was head of the factories of the Taiwanese company TSMC in China. He retired from TSMC three years ago. Obviously he has experience building factories and will come in handy when deploying new capacity.

How the story will end with the new DRAM manufacturer is anyone’s guess. China needs this industry without being tied to foreign production. So far, 94% of the DRAM market are manufacturers in South Korea and the United States. The rest is Taiwan and very little is China. ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) remains the largest RAM maker in China. Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit also attempted to take the lead but was scuttled by the Micron-led American judiciary.

About the author

Dylan Harris

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

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