Flash DRAM wallop! Now Hynix fab cranks out NAND
China surges ahead in chip production
Hynix is switching production at a memory plant in China to churn out NAND flash instead of DRAM chips.
Digitimes reports that the plant at Wuxi in China will make the flash switch to help Hynix become more profitable – and perhaps to start catching up with NAND flash market leaders Samsung and Toshiba. Hynix is currently ahead of fourth place Micron in the global flash production rankings.
Samsung has already said it is boosting its flash production in China.
NAND is used in the production of tablets and Ultrabooks: about a third of Ultrabooks have no hard disk drives. DRAM has been having a hard time recently but supply should possibly better match demand with Elpida's bankruptcy.
Hynix is working on 20nm process flash with 10nm in its sights after that. It is also working on STT-RAM, Phase-Change Memory and ReRAM technologies which could succeed NAND when it runs out of steam after the 10nm process is established, if it is established.
Hynix is also thinking about moving up the chain into SOC (System on a chip or System LSI) products, with processor cores, memory, I/O interfaces and perhaps peripheral drives all integrated on one chip. Memory for Hynix isn't forever. There is no timescale for this.
It looks like China is going to become the world's leading flash-production location. That could be a worry, given its rare earth monopoly supply practices. ®
«It looks like China ...
is going to become the world's leading flash-production location. That could be a worry, given its rare earth monopoly supply practices.» As has been pointed out innumerable times, so-called rare earths are not at all rare and are found widely distributed around the world, not only in China. Their extraction, however, is extremely destructive of the environment, so it's been convenient for manufacturers in Europe, North America, and Japan to outsource mining - and thus environmental destruction - to China. If, now that the Chinese are limiting sales of these products abroad, foreign manufacturers are feeling the pinch, the alternative is obvious - open mines in their own countries....
"It looks like China is going to become the world's leading flash-production location."
Does it? Does it really?