Through Data According to Japanese information, the Chinese company Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) is preparing to open a second plant for the production of flash memory chips at the end of this year. At this company, the stage of installing industrial equipment has begun. When full capacity is reached, the facility will be able to process 200,000 300mm 3D NAND wafers each month. This will allow China to be less dependent on foreign suppliers and enter the international market.
The second YMTC facility, like the first, will be operated in the company’s hometown of Wuhan. The first facility, with a capacity to process 100,000 300mm wafers per month, reached full capacity by the end of 2021. It took 4.5 years from the start of construction to full capacity utilization. But here we must consider the negative effects of the pandemic that started in Wuhan.
Note that nothing was known about the start of construction of the second plant in Wuhan. Previously, there were reports that the company is building a second plant in Nanjing and a third in Chengdu. In addition, the construction of a 3D NAND factory in Chengdu has been canceled allegedly because of the debt crisis of Tsinghua Unigroup, the main founder of Yangtze Memory. There is no official information about the second facility on the YMTC website. The company also declined to comment on the Nikkei note.
After YMTC’s second facility reaches full capacity, the company will be able to process up to 300,000 300mm wafers containing flash chips each month, but that will be a few years away. However, the commissioning of the second plant will enable the Chinese to increase their share of the global flash memory market from 5% today to more than 10% in the future.
Today, YMTC’s main products are 128-layer and 64-layer 3D NAND chips. That puts the company a little behind some competitors from the US, Japan and South Korea who have learned how to mass-produce 176-layer 3D NAND memory. But the Chinese are preparing to catch up. It is reported that two groups of hundreds of engineers were set up at YMTC to develop manufacturing processes for 196-layer and 232-layer flash memory in parallel. YMTC expects to launch these products in 2023-2024. However, the company is already releasing samples of the 196 Solo memory and even sending them out to customers, which may include Apple.