The company announced on June 30 that the DRAM business unit would led by Diao Shijing, former director of the Electronic Information Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as the group’s Chairman and Charles Kao as CEO.
Tsinghua Unigroup is the owner of both Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, two of the most successful Chinese fabless chip companies started in recent years.
The move is a response to the United States’ prohibition on sales by China’s Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (JHICC), according to analysts at TrendForce.
TrendForce points out that Tsinghua has plant construction experience following its build out of wafer fab for 3D-NAND flash company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Tsinghua is in the process of building a wafer fab in Nanjing but is also working closely with Chongqing, which may become a new plant site option.
Tsinghua Unigroup’s IC design company, Unigroup Guoxin Microelectronics Co. is well versed in the design of DRAM products, TrendForce said.
However, Tsinghua lacks its own DRAM process technology. This has ultimately thwarted JHICC which was trying to develop a process with United Microelectronics Corp. (see Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture).
There is also the possibility that Foxconn could enter DRAM production following the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Zhuhai government and the construction of a 300mm wafer fab in Zhuhai (see Foxconn plans to be a chip company).
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