Feeds

China's new year's resolution: Build a flash fab

It wants to own all the chips at the table

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Blocks and Files China has no hard disk drive, DRAM and flash memory production facilities of its own – but that could change.

The Asian nation digs up the rare earths used to make components in the world's HDDs, and firms including Huawei and UIT make servers and storage arrays that use disk drives, DRAM and flash memory. However China has no indigenous concerns that make the core base storage technologies for enterprise-grade gear.

Setting up and operating semiconductor fabs and the integrated plants needed to manufacture disk drives costs billions of dollars and needs world-class expertise. However things could change and one indicator that they might is that a Chinese concern is now making processors derived from DEC's Alpha chip and others based on the MIPS architecture.

These are being used in supercomputer designs. It is generally accepted that China wants to control its own core technologies and cease dependence on the West, largely meaning non-Chinese Asia and the USA. Its own internal market should be large enough to support its own CPU designs, and if the State-backed companies made DRAM and non-volatile memories to international specifications, the country could sell silicon produced inside China to the rest of the world.

What is stopping it?

El Reg reckons that the main obstacle is expertise and technological know-how; the Chinese government is encouraging existing suppliers to set up plants in China and by extension skill up Chinese workers, managers, executives and component suppliers.

For example, Samsung is seeking to build a NAND fabrication plant in China.

Hynix, TSMC and SMIC already have semiconductor plants in China. In three to five years Chinese employees at these plant would have learned a great deal about DRAM and NAND flash foundry installation, operation, management and component supply. They will understand the steps in the technological processes involved, be aware of the logistical concerns and understand the financing and cost structures needed.

From then on, given sufficient financing and ambition, Chinese DRAM and NAND foundries could be established. They haven't been yet. It is feasible however, that a Chinese supplier such as Huawei could do this and we could, conceivably, see a Chinese NAND foundry operating from 2013 onwards, if they started building one now.

The same pattern of events and thinking could result in a DRAM foundry being established as well. However growth estimates for NAND flash sales are looking very attractive, as are technology roadmaps, and it may be that flash looks a better opportunity than DRAM, and also hard disk drives.

Will China jump into semiconductor manufacturing? At the high end of the technology spectrum it wants its own satellites and citizens on the moon. It could well have similar plans at the foundation technologies end of this spectrum. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data
Adds new big data tools in quest for 'ambient intelligence'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.