There had already been speculation that following the listing by the US government of Chinese foundry supplier Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (Shanghai, China), that Chinese memory makers CXMT (Hefei, China) and Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd. (Wuhan, China) could be next.
CXMT is a 2016 startup that is making LPDDR4-interface 8Gbit DRAM. YMTC also founded in 2016 is heavily backed by the state through China’s Tsinghua Unigroup and by local authorities has introduced a 128-Layer 3D-NAND non-volatile memory – the X26070 – with four-bits per cell (QLC) and a total capacity of 1.33Tbits.
Micron, which enjoyed a good fiscal fourth quarter, has said that Huawei was responsible for about 10 percent of its sales but that shipments have now stopped due to orders from the US Department of Commerce. It a conference call with financial analysts Micron said it had applied for licenses to allow it to supply Huawei under the US government’s regime but did not know whether those licenses would be granted.
If Micron files a lawsuit against CXMT it would represent a follow on from a dispute from 2015 to 2017 that forced China’s Fujian Jin Hua to suspend the building of a DRAM wafer fab. Micron accused UMC of stealing trade secrets and passing them to Jin Hua under a collaboration UMC was conducting with Jin Hua (see Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture).
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