China has launched a probe into Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron Technology, the three semiconductor makers who control the market for DRAM memory chips.
The response came after industry website Jiweinet reported on Friday that the Chinese antitrust agency launched a sudden investigation into the Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen offices of Samsung, SK Hynix Inc and Micron Technology on Thursday seeking certain information.
Micron Technology said Chinese regulatory authority representatives visited its offices in that country, potentially opening another front in a growing trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.
Another class action lawsuit has been filed, alleging that Samsung, Hynix, and Micron conspired to limit the supply of memory, keeping consumer prices artificially high as a result.
More analysts raised their price targets on shares following better-than-expected earnings though shares were down 8.2% at last check in Friday trading, their worst one-day percentage decline since late November.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Chinese memory chip manufacturers pose no serious threat yet to established players, Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said, citing high barriers to entry for aspiring global suppliers.
Nikkei Asian Review
The industry this year may see a microprocessor ship from startup Graphcore that uses no DRAM and one from rival Cerebras Systems that pioneers wafer-level integration. The hefty 2.5-D Nervana chip acquired by Intel is already sampling, and a dozen other processors are in the works. Meanwhile, chip companies from ARM to Western Digital are working on cores to accelerate the inference part of deep neural nets.
Price increases for both DRAM and NAND flash memory are raising the outlook for the overall semiconductor market.
Samsung Electronics is positively considering rolling out a next-generation DRAM using an early 10 nano process as early as the beginning of 2019 by constructing a dedicated production line with EUV exposure equipment in the Hwasung Semiconductor Factory Complex in Gyeonggi-do. Experts say that this strategy aimed to secure profitability while widening micro-process technology gaps with competitors in the booming DRAM market.
ASML's Holistic Lithography integrates a set of products that enables chip makers to develop, optimize and control the production process at the 7/5 nanometer (nm) logic and 16 nm DRAM nodes.
Micron Technology is expected to report US$1.9 billion for the three months ended in May. That puts the company on track to post more than US$5 billion in operating earnings for its fiscal 2017.
Wall Street Journal
Samsung Electronics is seeking to increase high-performance DRAM chips for AI processors and servers by more than 30-fold and supply the chips first to key clients Intel and Nvidia, multiple industry sources told ET News on May 30.
Micron will install 13-nanometer production equipment at the Hiroshima Prefecture facility.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
Samsung Electronics is planning to invest in a new DRAM lab, according to Korean media reports. The move raises concerns of a capital spending race which could ruin profitability for makers of DRAM, a memory chip commonly used in smartphones.
Rambus revealed Monday (April 17) that the company, in collaboration with Microsoft researchers, has succeeded in prototyping cryogenic memory. The new technologies will be essential to data centers, "currently the fastest growing consumer of memory" in the industry, Craig Hampel, chief scientist at Rambus, told EE Times.
It used to be that any burp, hiccup, earthquake, typhoon or tsunami in Asia drove Micron's stock price wild. Seemingly no longer true with bellicose moves on the Korean Peninsula.
Samsung Electronics will invest about KRW10 trillion (US$8.7 billion) in Hwaseong Campus in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea to build a new line to produce memory DRAMs.
Micron no longer expects DRAM prices to increase in H2 of this year and 2018.
Sony has announced the development of the industry's first 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones.
CEO Durcan sees supply-demand balance persisting in 2017.
Samsung was Apple's main supplier for the iPhones from the very beginning, making the A-series processors and supplying both NAND flash and DRAM memory chips.
SK Hynix is going to mass-produce 10-nano-range DRAMs in 2017 and this will be the world's second mass-production of 10-nano-range DRAMs followed by Samsung Electronics. At the same time when it is finished with development of 1x DRAM, it is going to start developing 1y DRAM and also build up its competitive edge for the future by establishing a development team for 1z DRAM.
Micron Technology has said it is seeing signs of tight supplies of memory chips, a good omen for the company's bottom line but a potential worry for makers of smartphones, computers and other high-tech products.
Wall Street Journal
Looking at 2017, the semiconductor industry should see tight DRAM/NAND supply due to unbalanced supply conditions. Mea
The Korea Herald
Phase change memory has a lot to recommend it as a long-term replacement for DRAM - it's fast, it can retain data for long periods of time, and Intel's Optane/3DXPoint is thought to be partially based on phase change memory technology.
Specifications for DDR5 memory will be released this year, and deployment of the DRAM will begin in 2020, according to a slide deck presented at the Intel Developer Forum this week.
Applied Materials has announced its next-generation e-beam inspection system is delivering the highest resolution and image quality at the fastest throughput to leading foundry, logic, DRAM and 3D NAND customers as they move to advanced nodes.
There have been many rumors swirling around the news Samsung Galaxy Note 6, which will be arriving, most likely, in August.
Samsung has begun shipping its dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips made with 18-nanometer tech at its fabrication lines in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.
The Korea Times
Sino King Technology, set up by Yukio Sakamoto, will be a key part of a roughly JPY800 billion (US$7 billion) project by the Chinese city of Hefei to build a plant to churn out cutting-edge semiconductors.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
2015 was the beginning of the end for SSDs in the data center. Why? Because researchers have delved deep into their actual behavior and found multiple problems.
The estimate of its first loss in more than two years sent the company's shares down 5.7% to $13.78 in extended trading on Tuesday.
Altera has disclosed the industry's first heterogeneous System-in-Package (SiP) devices that integrate stacked High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) from SK Hynix with high-performance Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs.
One of the greatest risks to Apple's iPhone and iPad sales is its ability to secure enough DRAM (at a reasonable cost) when the inevitable shortage occurs in the future.
SK Group is considering pouring about 46 trillion won ($38 billion) over the next few years to expand the production facilities of its chipmaking unit SK hynix, officials said Monday.
A purported iPhone 6s benchmark posted by blog Ringer Blue Men shows that the new device only has 1GB of RAM, or just as much as last year's iPhone 6 had. If accurate, this would be a major disappointment.
Rambus, known for patent battles against chipmakers, is becoming one itself.
Wall Street Journal
SanDisk has reached agreement with SK Hynix to modify and extend their intellectual property licensing relationship and enter into a multi-year commercial relationship under which SK Hynix will supply its DRAM products to SanDisk. These agreements include a settlement of the trade secret misappropriation suit filed by SanDisk in 2014.
China's Tsinghua Holdings is still discussing a potential deal to buy US chipmaker Micron Technology and hopes it could eventually go through, the state-backed investment company's chairman told Reuters on Thursday.