Chinese NAND flash memory maker Yangtze Memory is reportedly strengthening ties with domestic equipment providers to supplant US-made equipment parts and components in its manufacturing equipment, and is in talks with a Beijing-based provider.
Yangtze Memory has been unable to obtain some critical equipment components from major vendors, such as Lam Research, due to the US-led chip and technology export restrictions imposed on Chinese chipmakers, a recent South China Morning Post (SCMP) report quoted sources familiar with the matter as indicating.
In response to the US-led export restrictions, Yangtze Memory has been working closely with Chinese chipmaking equipment manufacturers and related component suppliers to develop and produce tools that can be utilized extensively in Yangtze memory fabs, according to the report.
Components for use in fab tools require routine maintenance and replacement. An electrostatic chuck, for example, is responsible for holding the wafer during various processes such as etching or chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and is one of the equipment components that must be replaced regularly.
After receiving funding from the Chinese government, Yangtze Memory is investing heavily in localizing component manufacturing and actively pursuing non-American foreign companies that provide hardware maintenance services. Because if fabrication tools and related components are not regularly maintained or replaced, production yield rates at Yangtze Memory will suffer, according to the report.
Yangtze Memory has declined to comment on the report.