YMTC could be out of 3D-NAND by 2024, says TrendForce

YMTC could be out of 3D-NAND by 2024, says TrendForce

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

US sanctions could push Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd. (Wuhan, China) out of the 3D-NAND flash market by 2024, according to TrendForce Corp.

The analyst said the addition of YMTC to the “entity list” by the US Department of Commerce has made it hard for the memory chip maker to receive semiconductor manufacturing equipment and technical support from US and other vendors. YMTC was previously put on an “unverified list” or UVL, meaning that without site visits and extensive review the US Department of Commerce would not satisfied that YMTC chips were not being supplied to the People’s Liberation Army (see Advanced logic, memory, YMTC come under China export controls). In the absence of those checks the US added YMTC to the entity list on December 15.

TrendForce said that in the short term adding YMTC to the list will limit the company’s ability to raise its manufacturing output, thereby weakening its position in the market. In addition, YMTC’s ability to improve the yield on its latest 3D-NAND products with 128 and 232 layers, will be hampered without access to support from equipment makers, TrendForce said.

Can’t keep up

By 2024 YMTC’s competitors will also have transitioned to their own 200-plus layer 3D-NAND flash and possibly to 300-layer plus chips while YMTC will have lost competitiveness, the analyst said.

TrendForce reckons YMTC will make 105,000 3D-NAND flash wafers in 2022 but has reduced its expectation of YMTC production in 2023 from 145,000 wafers to 130,000 wafers.

The US stance on YMTC is causing buyers outside China to move orders from YMTC to other 3D-NAND suppliers, the analyst observed. Apple was set to purchase 3D-NAND from YMTC and has shelved that arrangement. Similarly, PC OEMs that were going to qualify YMTC’s solid-state drives have temporarily halted the customer sampling and adoption process, the analyst added.

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Advanced logic, memory, YMTC come under China export controls


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