By Li Panpan
(JW Insights) Mar 24-- Cheng Weihua, chief operation officer of Yangtze Memory (YMTC), pointed out that ChatGPT and intelligent vehicles will drive the NAND flash memory market and provide a new balance in supply and demand in the second half of this year. He addressed the China Flash Memory Summit 2023 (CFMS) held in Shenzhen on March 23.
Yangtze Memory (YMTC) has been in the focus of industry attention since it was placed on the US export control list last October. Cheng said in his keynote speech that the global demand for flash memory will rise in 2023 and YMTC will not stop innovation, international cooperation, and talent training, despite geopolitical changes.
China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, or Big Fund, took a stake in YMTC, with an investment of RMB 12.9 billion (about $1.87 billion), according to a government website that discloses company registration information in early March.
In his speech, Cheng believes that mobile phones, servers, and PCs will still be the primary sources of demand. In addition, ChatGPT and autonomous driving in new energy vehicles bring about explosive data growth. Those emerging applications have driven a tremendous need for memory and have become a new growth driver for the NAND flash memory market.
The latest survey by market research firm TrendForce said that the NAND Flash market had faced headwinds in demand since the second half of 2022. The supply chain has been destocking, leading to a 20-25% price drop in NAND Flash contracts in the fourth quarter.
Established in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, in July 2016, YMTC is an IDM semiconductor company focusing on designing and manufacturing 3D NAND flash memory with complete memory solutions. The company’s products and solutions include embedded memory solutions, and consumer and enterprise SSDs, which are widely used in mobile devices, consumer electronics, computers, servers, and data centers.
The company is one of a handful of domestic chipmakers in China that compete with South Korean giants Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and US giant Micron in memory chips for many applications. The firm was short-listed by Apple as a memory chip supplier for its iPhone 14 and dropped it after the US placed export control on it last year, according to media reports.