On Wednesday, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd. (YMTC), a Chinese semiconductor integrated device company specializing in flash memory chips, announced a new memory chip technology. The company stated that this technology would be the reason to catch up with its competitors like SK Hynix and Micron, the same as Washington, which considers sharper restrains on semiconductor companies of China.
On the same day, Global Times, a Chinese government-backed media outlet, reported that the semiconductor company revealed the X3-9070, its fourth-generation 3D NAND chip and its first to feature 232 layers of memory cells.
Last month, Micron, its primary competitor, announced that the company intends to begin mass production of its 232-chip by the end of this year, which results in placing YMTC close to its rival.
SK Hynix, a South Korean memory chipmaker, also sets a new benchmark in the industry by developing its first-ever 238-layer memory chip.
A spokesperson from the YMTC refused to comment on the report covered by Global Times.
According to semiconductor industry experts, YMTC is not expected to start its mass production of the chip in the near future. However, it still marks a breakthrough for the company.
The market value of the company continues to remain in the single digits, but YMTC is actively looking into expanding its chip production capacity along with R&D by taking the help of state subsidies.
Toby Zhu, an analyst at Canalys, a research firm, who tracks China’s chip sector, stated that the revenue of the company has recorded improvements over the years, but the gap between them and market leaders continues to remain the same.
YMTC is among the companies in this chip industry that has attracted attention for its rapid growth in the R&D sector, as initially, the company was not one of the famous players, backed by Tsinghua Unigroup, the ailing Chinese state conglomerate.
In March, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc., an American multinational technology company, was considered using the YMTC memory chip in its phone, which would have significantly benefitted this upstart company in the industry.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Washington, referring to an increasing threat from China, anticipated placing a curb on companies that supply YMTC, forbidding equipment manufacturers from selling components to the company, leading the company to manufacture memory chips at 128 layers and above.
If these restrictions are to be imposed on the YMTC, then it could destroy the company’s objective of expanding its business. This will similarly result in how imposed sanctions distressed Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in 2020.