China embarks on long march to 3D NAND domination

China’s target for self-sufficiency in semiconductor technology is edging closer with the first mass production of 3D NAND chip packaging and testing products in the country.

Unimos Electronics will start mass-producing 32-layer 3D NAND chips at its Wuhan plant later this year.  The company is an affiliate of  state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup, which in turn is the the majority owner of Yangtze Memory Technology (YMTC). YMTC is developing a 64-layer chip and says it can bypass 96 layers to jump from there to 128-layers.

YMTC is set to build manufacturing plants at Chengdu, Nanjing and Suzhou and the way looks clear for YMTC 3D NAND chips to be packaged and tested with Unimos products.

3D NAND vendors include Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix, Toshiba and Western Digital. They are moving en masse to 96-layers from 64-layers, and 128-layers is seen as the next stage. YMTC’s layering capability is behind the industry but it should catch up if it can jump to 128-layers.

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