Chinese foundry XMC aims to produce HBM memory

(Image credit: XMC)

China-based Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (XMC) is kicking off a project focused on developing and manufacturing high-bandwidth memory (HBM), as this type of DRAM is a crucial element for AI and HPC processors, reports DigiTimes. XMC is controlled by Yangtze Memory Technology Co. (YMTC), China's leading producer of 3D NAND, which is controlled by state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup, which means that China's government is behind the effort.

XMC, which produces logic, CIS, and NOR flash memory and is an integral part of YMTC's 3D NAND production, has reportedly issued invitations for bids to build assembly lines and develop sophisticated packaging technology for its HBM initiative. The project plans to employ 3D chip stacking technology and acquire 16 sets of equipment to reach a monthly production target of 3,000 wafers. Meanwhile, XMC is not even a member of the JEDEC standard-setting organization, which means that it formally cannot access or use HBM specifications. The good news, though, is that its owner, YMTC, is.

Yangtze Memory uses fabs originally built by XMC to make both 3D NAND memory cells using memory-oriented process technology and 3D NAND periphery logic (address decoding, page buffers, etc.) using a production node aimed at high-performance logic. This is how it manages to make 3D NAND chips with ultra-fast I/O ahead of all of its rivals.

Presumably, Tsinghua Unigroup decided it makes sense for XMC (or YMTC?) to enter the HBM business. This move signifies a strong effort by China's government to accelerate the domestic development of HBM technology and become self-sufficient in high-speed memory for its AI and HPC processors.

XMC is not the only company in China that is interested in producing HBM memory. For example, CXMT has been exploring HBM technology in general for some time (we first reported about it in August and then more recently in February).

DigiTimes claims that about 20 companies from the People's Republic, including material suppliers and packaging houses, are eyeing a slice of the HBM pie. Technology is complex, and competition is fierce, but there is much money to make, especially with high demand and rising prices.

Major Chinese packing companies like JECT, Tongfu Microelectronics, JCET, and SJ Semiconductor already have HBM packaging technology. JECT recently showed off its XDFOI high-density fan-out package solution, which is designed for HBM. Tongfu Microelectronics has reportedly teamed up with a significant Chinese DRAM maker (presumably CXMT) to work on HBM projects.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Geef
    I think this might just be another China trying to embellish the truth. There are a ton of different versions of HBM memory. China might be able to make a couple generations older versions but nothing top of the line which I think they are trying to imply.