China’s new chip power is on the scene, and a "The Avengers" co-produced by China and Japan is needed?

China’s new chip power is on the scene, and a "The Avengers" co-produced by China and Japan is needed?

As we all know, there is memory in all kinds of electronic devices, and the key component of memory is DRAM, which is called Dynamic Random Access Memory.

Memory is indispensable for mobile phones and computers, but our local DRAM enterprises are not developed enough, so they are very dependent on imports. The more popular mobile phones and computers are, the more they need to be imported.

Recently, however, there is another China player named Sheng Weixu on the DRAM chip track.

The New Force of DRAM Memory Chip in China

According to public information, Shengweixu was established in March 2022, invested by Shentou (Shenzhen Major Industrial Investment Group Co., Ltd.) and 100% indirectly controlled by Shenzhen State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Its business includes research and development of new storage materials and structures, investment and construction of fabs, product design, manufacturing and sales.

Shengweixu’s registered capital is 5 billion yuan, which means that the chip industry is heavily invested. And this is still the first step. In the future, the funds needed for building a factory and putting it into production will have to be doubled.

The company’s main products are general-purpose DRAM chips for data centers, smart phones and other application scenarios, that is, memory chips. According to the report of TrendForce Jibang Consulting, the global total output value of DRAM in the first quarter of this year was as high as $24.03 billion.

At present, about 95% of the DRAM market is controlled by Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron. The next three places, Nanya, Winbond and PSMC, all came from Taiwan Province, China, with a combined share of less than 5%.

The combined share of the manufacturers ranked seventh and behind is only 1.2%.

Changxin Storage, the representative player of DRAM in China, is in this 1.2%. As a new player, Sheng Weixu should also start from here.

Avengers of "China-Japan Harmony"

On June 16th, Shengweixiu WeChat WeChat official account issued an announcement announcing that Yukio Sakamoto, a 75-year-old Japanese veteran and former president of Elpida, became the chief strategy officer.

Sakamoto Yukio’s identity and resume may arouse some people’s suspicion. But before that, Sakamoto Yukio served as senior vice president of Ziguang Group and CEO of Japan branch. At that time, an industry blogger pointed out that he chose to work for China enterprises, and the purpose was obviously to take revenge on Korean enterprises.

Sakamoto Yukio is considered to be a key figure in Japan’s storage industry. In order to save the declining local memory industry, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan led the establishment of Elpida Memory Company in 1999, which was formed by the merger of DRAM departments of NEC and Hitachi. Yukio Sakamoto became the president in 2002, and the company held nearly 20% of the DRAM market at its peak.

Sakamoto Yukio once boasted that Elpida, which invested heavily in research and development, could squeeze Samsung from the leading position in DRAM market.

It’s a pity that nature makes people. Because of the external conditions suppressed by the United States and squeezed by South Korea, Elpida was on the verge of desperation and sought cooperation with Micron to break the situation. Unexpectedly, steve appleton, then CEO of Micron, was killed in a plane crash. Elpida missed the key financing and had to file for bankruptcy, and was finally acquired by Micron for $2.5 billion.

Therefore, the chip industry between China and Japan still has something in common when it is suppressed by the external environment. As we all know, Huawei’s chip supply is blocked because of US sanctions. There is also Fujian Jinhua, which produces DRAM memory chips. It was included in the "entity list" by the United States earlier than Huawei, and now it has been much lower-key.

This wave is really the avenger of "China and Japan in tune".

Yukio Sakamoto, who joined Sheng Weixu, also said that this will be his last job in his life, and he will go all out to contribute his strength and help Sheng Weixu achieve its strategic goals.

sparks of fire

The entry of Sheng Weixu has brought new strength to China’s memory industry, and the next step is to accumulate industry talents and technology patents. In this regard, almost all the three storage companies started with cooperation, and then acquired and independently developed. For example, the technical foundation of Changxin Storage came from the cooperation with Qi Mengda.

Of course, we also need to realize that Sheng Weixu, as a new player, is still far from the world-leading goal. Referring to Chang Xin, an advanced representative of domestic DRAM, its 19nm DDR4 memory has been shipped one after another, and the 17nm DDR5 memory chip is planned to be put into production this year. International manufacturers led by Samsung have mass-produced 14nm DDR5 memory, and are gradually advancing the more advanced 1β process, which is about four generations ahead of Changxin.

It is always good that our chips can be more self-sufficient. But before that, new players still need to walk step by step in research and development, production and shipment.


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