According to a report published by The Economic Daily News in Taiwan, China's CXMT, also known as ChangXin Memory Technology, is striving to become the country's first DDR5 producer. The same company is currently China's biggest DRAM maker and its only (LP)DDR4 maker (since 2019).
CXMT's ambitions ramped up recently thanks to significant investment. Its parent company, Ruili Integration, received capital from 19 new shareholders helping it invest in more R&D, as well as boost production facilities/capacity.
With its newfound investments, the plan is to double CXMT's output to 120,000 wafers per month through 2022, with a target of 300,000 in the medium to long term.
After successful trials of DDR5 production, CXMT hopes to step up to mass production before the end of the year. The report indicates by that time, it will launch "more advanced" 17nm (LP)DDR5, as well as other advanced process memory chips.
If you own Adata or Foresee branded DDR4 memory modules, there is a possibility they will feature CXMT memory chips.
You might have seen CXMT in our news section before when it signed a patent licensing agreement with Rambus in April 2020.
Wafer Output Levels Comparison
While the above technology milestone might be important for China, the mass production scale will be relatively small, even when the medium-long term ambition of 300,000 wafers per month is reached.
The world's biggest contract chipmaker, TSMC, was estimated to produce 13,000,000 wafers per month in 2020. Since that time, it has expanded several fabs and made plans for many more. A smaller but still significant player like Micron produces about 2,000,000 wafers per month, and PC processor goliath Intel produced about 900,000 wafers per month according to the most recent figures.
CXMT Grows, Nanya Worries
Being a Taiwanese source publication, The Economic Daily frames the growth of CXMT as a concern for a budding DDR5 memory chipmaker on the island. It reports that Nanya is already at the trial production stage for its first-gen 10nm process technology (1A) DRAM chips, as well as next-gen DDR5 chips.
Nanya's DDR5 mass production should start in H1 2022. It will be followed up with second-gen 1B chips from mid-2023. Like CXMT, Nanya has a modest history of DDR4 production.
The most recent data from Nanya says it is preparing a new advanced 10nm class EUV fab, with an additional production capacity of approx 45,000 wafers per month, which will start volume production in 2024.