New export regulations that took effect Wednesday forced four major manufacturers of chip-making equipment to stop selling new tools and provide support services for tools installed at China-based Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). It offers. To sell new equipment to the YMTC and support existing machines, tool makers must obtain a technology export license from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
US-based Applied Materials, KLA, and Lam Research have discontinued supplying YMTC with equipment for manufacturing 3D NAND memory with 128 layers or more. Latest Export Regulations (opens in new tab) It will impose new licensing requirements on semiconductor manufacturing equipment destined for China from Oct. 12. However, they will allow multinationals that make chips in China — Samsung and SK Hynix — to spend a year without a license with new equipment. Continue to supply tools. However, all export license applications to supply tools to the YMTC controlled by Tsinghua Unigroup are subject to review on the basis of denial. Tsinghua Unigroup is a government-controlled organization.
For the same reason, ASML in the Netherlands told its U.S. employees to stop “serving, shipping or providing support to customers in China until further notice.” bloomberg (opens in new tab) report.
While Applied, KLA, and Lam Research are shipping metrology, etching, deposition, inspection, and die sorting tools to Yangtze Memory, ASML sells critical lithography scanners to Chinese 3D NAND manufacturers. Formally, the lithography tools used by YMTC are not as advanced as those used by logic or dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers, and theoretically should not fall under the new licensing requirements, but ASML is a new We prefer to assess export regulations and make sure they comply. with new regulations.
YMTC has reportedly been working with all possible equipment from its American partners in China in recent weeks and days to continue producing 3D NAND without interruption to meet the demands of its clients, including Apple. and tried to procure spare parts. You can probably get manufacturing equipment and spare parts (if not anyone), but your main challenge right now is installing and rolling out new tools and parts. New export restrictions imposed by the U.S. government also include services. As a result, employees of ASML, Applied Materials, KLA, and Lam Research are unable to assist YMTC or other Chinese chip makers. This means you cannot install new tools or replace defective components.
It is unclear whether YMTC fab engineers are qualified to repair equipment manufactured by US and Dutch companies. However, at this time, the supply of 3D NAND bits from YMTC is safe. Digi Times (opens in new tab).
On the other hand, if YMTC employees cannot roll out new tools and fix production tools, sooner or later YMTC will have to scale back or even stop producing 3D NAND memory. The latter is unlikely as the company will struggle to survive. Still, without the support of the tool makers, maintaining YMTC’s production facilities would be even more difficult.
It is worth noting that YMTC was preparing to launch its next-generation 6-plane 3D NAND chip family, featuring the company’s Xtacking 3.0 architecture with up to 200 layers and interface speeds of 2400 MT/s. increase. These chips could end up making some of the best of his SSDs, but I’m not sure YMTC will get the right tools to manufacture such memory devices.