China’s Changxin Memory set to produce first locally designed DRAM chip

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Changxin Memory Technologies is targeting 10k wpm DRAM production by the end of the year. The company previously known as Innotron Memory is the first of its kind to produce local DRAM chips. Changxin will compete against chips giants Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics in a $1 billion per year market.

Changxin Memory Technologies

The Chinese company is taking steps to minimize its use of US technology due to the heated US-China trade war. It propels the company to redesign its dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. The company is taking measures to avoid infringing patents and potentially falling victim to the U.S. pressures on China’s rising tech industry.

However, the company still heavily relies on US equipment and tool suppliers for most of its production. By redesigning its DRAM chips, the company is hoping that they will be safe against potential U.S. allegations of intellectual property theft.

DRAM Chips

The Chinese company is not expecting an outright blasting sales response from the world. While the output will still be small compared with the 1.3 million DRAM wafers a month currently produced globally, the start of production would still mark a major breakthrough for China as the country currently has no homemade DRAM chips, said Sean Yang, an analyst at market research company CINNO.

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Much like the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, Changxin still needs to use U.S. equipment. It might derive from companies like Applied Materials, Lam Research, KLA-Tencor. Moreover, it might also need materials from Dow Chemical and electronic design automation tool providers from Cadence and Synopsys.