October 10, 2006 – STMicroelectronics and Hynix Semiconductor have officially opened their $2 billion joint frontend memory manufacturing facility in Wuxi City, China, to manufacture both NAND flash and DRAM memories.
A 200mm line brought online in July is running 50,000 wafers/month at the site, and the new 300mm line is expected to ramp to 18,000 wafers/month. Current production focuses on DRAM utilizing 110-90nm process technologies on the 200mm line and 80nm in the 300mm line; NAND flash production is slated to begin by mid-2007, with mix of DRAM vs. NAND output and densities to be based on market conditions.
The JV gives ST guaranteed access to cost-competitive DRAM and NAND products and technologies, reinforcing the chipmaker’s package-level integration offerings, noted Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics, in a statement. “By stacking multiple memory chips in a single package, this important technology of PLI allows our customers in China and worldwide to increase memory density and device reliability, while saving space in mobile handsets and other consumer and industrial applications,” he said.
Mario Licciardello, corporate VP and GM of ST’s memory product group, added that “the ramp up of the 300mm production with 60nm SLC (Single-Level Cell) and MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND technology, rapidly moving to 55nm and below, will help ST match this growth and meet our customers’ demand for high-performance and cost-competitive memory solutions in the mobile and digital consumer markets.”
Hynix, which already has a fab in Eugene, OR, is financing two-thirds equity into the new fab, located about two hours from Shanghai. Hynix, claims to hold the top spot in DRAM sales in China with 47% share, noted that the Chinese semiconductor market is expected to see significant growth over the next two years — from 15% of the global market to more than 25% by 2008.