YMTC 128 layer memory chip 230YMTC's 128-Layer 1.33Tb QLC 3D NAND memory is close to the state of the art. Samples are widely available and volume production is set for this year. It is currently shipping a 64 layer version by the millions. It just broke ground on a new building that will "triple its output capacity to 300,000 wafer equivalents a month." The Wuhan site has an investment budget of US$24 billion, some provided by the province of Hubei. It maintained production despite being in the early world center of the pandemic.

While most of its 2000 engineers are trained in China, it's led by Dr.Simon Yang. Western-educated, he was previously at Intel and CTO of leading foundry Chartered Semiconductor (Now Global Foundries.) A huge percentage of leading chip engineers are Chinese and many are being offered lucrative deals to work in China. 

SMIC, China's leading foundry, skipped two generations and now is producing 12-14nm chips. It's N+1 process, expected by the end of the year, is not the same as the 7nm at TSMC but it incorporates many of the Improvements of that generation. The US for now is forbidding ASML in the Netherlands from delivering the EUV machine needed to do better than that. It will take time for China to develop EUV technology of its own, a major obstacle.

There's a myth that China cannot build advanced chips. There's nothing about being born in Taiwan or Oregon that makes you more able to manufacture chips. 

YMTC Introduces 128-Layer 1.33Tb QLC 3D NAND

Date: 2020-04-12Share:
Wuhan, China, April 13, 2020 - Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Ltd (YMTC), today announced that its 128-layer 1.33Tb QLC 3D NAND flash memory chip, X2-6070, has passed sample verification on the SSD platform through co-working with multiple controller partners. As the first QLC based 128-layer 3D NAND, X2-6070 has achieved the highest bit density, highest I/O speed and highest capacity so far among all released flash memory parts in the industry①. Accompanying this release, YMTC introduced a 128-layer 512Gb TLC (3 bit/cell) chip, X2-9060, to meet diversified application requirements.

YMTC X2-6070 128L QLC 3D NAND

“As a new entrant in the flash memory industry, YMTC has reached to new heights by launching the 1.33 Tb QLC product,’’ said Grace Gong, YMTC Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “We are able to achieve these results today because of the incredible synergy created through seamless collaboration with our global industry partners, as well as remarkable contributions from our employees. With the launch of XtackingTM 2.0, YMTC is now capable of building a new business ecosystem where our partners can play to their strengths and we can achieve mutually beneficial results.”

XtackingTM 2.0 unleashes the potential of 3D NAND②

Leveraging the innovative XtackingTM architecture, YMTC has optimized the design and manufacturing processes of CMOS circuits and memory arrays. As a result, YMTC’s 64-layer TLC products perform well in terms of storage bit density, I/O speed, and reliability.

In its 128-layer line of products, XtackingTM has been upgraded to version 2.0, which is bringing more benefits to flash memory. In terms of read/write performance, 1.6Gbps can be enabled on both X2-6070 and X2-9060 by using 1.2V Vccq, which is so far the highest I/O speed in the industry. As independent manufacturing processes have been adopted for peripheral circuits and memory cells, it provides the capability to bring better functional scalability in chip design without increasing the chip area. In the future, YMTC will continue to collaborate with more partners to build its ecosystem and benefit the industry through technology innovation.

With 1.6 Gb/s high-speed I/O performance and 1.33Tb high capacity, X2-6070 is demonstrating the outstanding performance and capabilities of Xtacking architecture. “We are confident that this product will be able to meet a broad range of market needs and provide even greater value to our customers. This QLC product will first be applied to consumer-grade solid-state drives and will eventually be extended into enterprise-class servers and data centers in order to meet the diverse data storage needs of the 5G and AI era,” said Ms. Gong.

QLC’s technical characteristics and applications

Compared with TLC, QLC has notable features including large capacity, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency for read-intensive applications. Each X2-6070 QLC chip has 128 layers of array stacks and contains more than 366 billion effective charge-trap memory cells. As a single memory cell contains 4-bit data, each chip provides a total of 1.33 Tb storage capacity.

Gregory Wong, Founder and Principal Analyst of Forward Insights, a well-known market research company in the field of flash memory and solid-state drives (SSD), believes, “Vertical scaling of 3D NAND by increasing the number of layers is becoming progressively more capital intensive with each generation. QLC is a necessary and capital-efficient approach to reduce NAND flash cost. Due to the characteristics of QLC, it is suitable as a high capacity storage media. As client SSDs transition to 512GB and above, the vast majority will be QLC-based. The lower read latency of enterprise and datacenter QLC SSDs compared to hard drives will make it suitable for read-intensive applications in AI, machine learning and real-time analytics, and Big Data. In consumer storage, QLC will become prevalent in USB flash drives, flash memory cards, and external SSDs.”

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein

Latest

Professor Noam's "Many Internets" http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html . More from Noam http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board http://bit.ly/CEOPromises
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,http://bit.ly/CEOPromises

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling http://bit.ly/SorryPai
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors http://bit.ly/SorryPai

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More http://bit.ly/VintTim
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list, http://bit.ly/VintTim