There's an update about the cooperation between Intel and the China-based Tsinghua Unigroup. Intel previously cooperated with Micron but that NAND flash memory joint-venture will cease beyond the firm's third-generation node. Word on the street is that the chip giant is cooperating with Tsinghua Unigroup to develop 3D NAND flash memory in the long term:
DRAMeXchange released its report on the 1st, saying, “According to the contract, Intel has decided to deliver wafers for NAND flash chips first before supplying 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips. With Intel’s support, Tsinghua Unigroup’s products will be able to improve not only its competitiveness in sales but also its brand awareness in the market.”
Tsinghua Unigroup and Intel are leaders that can create a remarkable synergy of capital and technology. Tsinghua Unigroup is the biggest beneficiary of the Chinese government’s plan to invest 1 trillion yuan (US$157.53 billion or 170.61 trillion won) in order to raise its semiconductor self-sufficiency rate to 70 percent by 2025. Tsinghua Unigroup’s NAND plant, which has been constructed with the investment of 26 trillion won (US$24.01 billion), will start manufacturing 32-layer 3D NAND flash chips from the end of this year and expand the facilities to significantly increase the production next year.
Industry watchers estimate the technological gap between South Korean memory chip makers and their Chinese rivals is about three years. Thanks to the partnership with Intel, Tsinghua Unigroup may be able to narrow the gap sooner than expected.