Tag Archives: NAND

Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

Apple just froze its original plan to use China’s YMTC NAND flash memory chips in their iPhones!


Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

On Monday, October 17, 2022, Nikkei Asia (paywall) reported that Apple just froze its original plan to use NAND flash memory chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC)!

Apple had originally planned to start using NAND flash memory chips manufactured by YMTC in iPhones manufactured for the Chinese market, eventually purchasing up to 40% of its chip requirements from the Chinese state-funded company.

Those plans had to be put on hold after the US government announced stricter technology export controls designed to block China’s access to advanced semiconductor technologies.

The United States added YMTC – China’s top memory chipmaker – and 30 other Chinese companies to its “Unverified List” of companies that its official are unable to inspect to ensure compliance with its export controls.

The United States also initiated a new 60-day deadline for entities under the “Unverified List” to allow for complete end-to-end inspections, or risk even tougher penalties if added to the infamous “Entity List“.

YMTC is also being investigated by the US Commerce Department over allegations it violated earlier United States export controls by selling chips to HUAWEI, which was blacklisted under the Trump Administration.

Read more : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!


Apple Decision Stymies Earlier Preparations By YMTC

Apple’s decision to freeze its purchase of YMTC flash memory chips stymies earlier preparations by the Wuhan-based memory chipmaker to mitigate looming US export controls.

According to four employees who spoke to Financial Times, YMTC had been stockpiling foreign equipment for months after US lawmakers started urging the Biden Administration to punish it for helping the Chinese military and violating trade restrictions by supply HUAWEI with chips.

YMTC has also come under scrutiny over concerns that massive Chinese government subsidies allow it to sells its chips below market price, even at a loss, just to gain market share at the expense of other companies.

We’ve been doing everything possible beforehand to support existing production lines, such as stockpiling all kinds of equipment.
– Senior YMTC engineer

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

All that preparation was for naught, because Apple’s decision to freeze its massive purchase of YMTC flash memory chips is only the tip of the iceberg.

Other companies will similarly be forced to freeze or cancel their purchase of YMTC chips unless YMTC acquiesces to comply with audit requirements by US officials – a step the Chinese chipmaker is (politically) incapable of taking.

YMTC is, after all, China’s largest memory chipmaker, and a national champion in the country’s drive to build a domestic chip industry. It received 220 billion yuan (over $30.5 billion) in funding from both the Hubei province, and a national fund.

After the Biden Administration announced new chip export restrictions, the top three US chip toolmakers – KLA Corporation, Lam Research and Applied Materials immediately stopped sales and services to YMTC.

Despite its earlier stockpiling efforts, one YMTC employee revealed that the company only had enough wafers and parts for equipment repairs to last a year, but that’s assuming it won’t need technical support from foreign companies.


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US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

The US government just imposed sweeping chip and chipmaking export restrictions that target Chinese military capabilities!


US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

On Friday, October 7, 2022, the US government announced new regulations on computer chips and chipmaking technologies designed to target Chinese military capabilities.

The stated goal of these new export restrictions is to “block the People’s Liberation Army and China’s domestic surveillance apparatus from gaining access to advanced computing capabilities that require the use of advanced semiconductors.

According to US officials, these rules target not only the sale and export of chips, but also the tools and software that might help the Chinese military in any way, including aiding the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike earlier rules that target specific Chinese companies (like HUAWEI), the new rules have far greater reach, covering everything from chips made by AMD and NVIDIA, to complex and expensive hardware and software used to design and manufacture semiconductor chips.

These rules, some of which go into effect immediately, build on existing restrictions that were earlier applied to top chip toolmaking companies in the US, like KLA Corporation, Lam Research Corporation, and Applied Material Incorporated.

It’s not just advanced chips used for AI computing and national security or military applications that are being targeted.

The new rules are more generic, and forbid US companies from selling technologies to indigenous Chinese companies that will enable the production of:

  • DRAM chips at 18 nm or below,
  • NAND flash chips at 128 layers or above, and
  • logic chips at 14 nm or below.

Even foreign companies operating China are somewhat affected. US companies will need to obtain a license to export more advanced equipment to them.

But in a concession to South Korea, the US government will spare SK Hynix and Samsung from these measures. US companies will be able to continue supplying their production facilities in China.

Many of the rules aim to block foreign companies from selling advanced chips or chipmaking technologies and tools to China. However, the US government will need to “lean” on those countries to introduce similar measures.

Most advanced chips are manufactured in South Korea and Taiwan. If they continue to export to China, they will allow China to bypass US restrictions.

Read more : Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!


Chinese Government Criticised US Chip Export Ban

On Saturday, the Chinese government criticised the new US chip export ban, calling it a violation of International economic and trade rules that will “isolate and backfire” on the US.

Out of the need to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the U.S. abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies.

It will not only damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect American companies’ interest.

– Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Despite Mao’s assertions that US actions will not stop China’s progress, the new wide-ranging chip and chipmaking export ban will undoubtedly be detrimental to the Chinese semiconductor industry, and set back its attempts at indigenous production by many years.

On the other hand, this export ban will spur China to redouble its efforts to develop its own chipmaking capabilities, and possibly “strike back” by restricting exports of rare earths to US companies.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!


US Chip Export Rules Affecting Chinese Companies Summarised

Here is a summary of the new restrictions that take effect on Friday (October 7, 2022):

  • Tools that are capable of producing logic chips made using fin field-effect transistors (FinFET) are blocked from sale to China.
  • Tools capable of fabricating NAND flash storage chips with 128-layer technology or greater, and DRAM based on 18-nanometer half-pitch or less technology are blocked from sale to China.
  • Servicing and maintenance of restricted tools are also banned, which would prevent keeping advanced equipment in good enough shape to keep producing quality chips at high volume.
  • US citizens currently servicing or supporting tools on the restricted list must halt their activities by Wednesday, October 12.
  • Export of items that China can use to make its own chip manufacturing tools, such as a photolithography light source and other specialised components are also blocked from sale to China.

The US Commerce Department also enacted these additional measures on Friday:

  • 31 Chinese entities were added to the Unverified List, which consists of companies that the US government believes could divert technology that they purchase to restricted entities.
  • The Commerce Department expanded the scope of controls for the 28 Chinese firms already on the US Entity List, including presumptively denying any licenses because of the risk they will divert technology to the Chinese military.

Then two weeks later, these restrictions will take effect on Friday, October 21, 2022:

  • Using a new foreign direct product rule, the U.S. will block any chips that used in advanced computing and artificial intelligence applications.
  • The foreign direct product rule can block chips made by non-US companies — including Chinese chip designers — if they use American technology or software.
  • TSMC may be forced by this new rule to halt production on advanced AI or supercomputer chips designed by Chinese firms that are fabricated in Taiwan, unless it gets an exemption.
  • A new foreign direct product rule will apply to components and chips destined for supercomputers in China.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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1TB Samsung eUFS Chip For Smartphone Details Revealed!

In the first big flash storage news of 2019, Samsung announced that they have begun mass producing the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip for use in the next-generation mobile devices.

Here are the full details, including its performance specifications!

Updated @ 2019-01-31 : Added additional information, and a new picture.

Originally posted @ 2019-01-30


The 1TB Samsung eUFS Chip

The new 1TB Samsung eUFS chip is the world’s first embedded Universal Flash Storage 2.1 (eUFS 2.1) device to break the terabyte threshold. It is powered by their fifth-generation V-NAND memory, and a new proprietary controller.

The 1TB Samsung  eUFS chip offers twice the storage capacity of its predecessor in the same package size (11.5 mm x 13.0 mm), by stacking 16 layers of Samsung’s 512 Gb V-NAND flash memory.

The larger storage capacity is important as 4K videos become more popular, and smartphone cameras increase in resolution. The recently-launched HONOR View20, for example, sports a 48 MP camera whose photos come in at about 15 MB in size!

The 1TB storage capacity will allow you to record approximately 43 hours of 4K videos, or 67,000 photos from a 48 MP camera. Your entire life can literally be stored in this one chip!

Higher Performance

In addition to doubling single-chip storage capacity, the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip is significantly faster. With a read speed of up to 1 GB/s, it is about twice as fast as solid state drives used in high-end laptops!

Samsung also improved its random read and write speeds by 38% and 25% respectively over its 512 GB predecessor. This means it is approximately 500X faster than a typical microSD card!

Memory Sequential
Read Speed
Sequential Write Speed Random
Read Speed
Write Speed
1TB Samsung
eUFS 2.1
(Jan. 2019)
1000 MB/s 260 MB/s 58,000 IOPS 50,000 IOPS
512GB Samsung
eUFS 2.1
(Nov. 2017)
860 MB/s 255 MB/s 42,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS
Samsung eUFS 2.1
for automotive
(Sept. 2017)
850 MB/s 150 MB/s 45,000 IOPS 32,000 IOPS
256GB Samsung
UFS Card
(July 2016)
530 MB/s 170 MB/s 40,000 IOPS 35,000 IOPS
256GB Samsung
eUFS 2.0
(Feb. 2016)
850 MB/s 260 MB/s 45,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS
128GB Samsung
eUFS 2.0
(Jan. 2015)
350 MB/s 150 MB/s 19,000 IOPS 14,000 IOPS
eMMC 5.1 250 MB/s 125 MB/s 11,000 IOPS 13,000 IOPS
eMMC 5.0 250 MB/s 90 MB/s 7,000 IOPS 13,000 IOPS
eMMC 4.5 140 MB/s 50 MB/s 7,000 IOPS 2,000 IOPS

Such high performance is important for flagship smartphones, because it allows them to support high-speed photography and video recording at 960 frames per second or faster!


1TB Samsung eUFS Availability

Samsung has already begun mass-producing the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip. We should see devices using this new storage chip this year.

In fact, they anticipate strong demand for the chip in 2019, and plan to expand the production of their 5th generation 512 Gb V-NAND memory at their Pyeongtaek plant in the first half of 2019, to meet this demand.


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HUAWEI P20 Pro Recalled After Shipping With Real ROM!

Excited about the HUAWEI P20 Pro? You may have to wait a while longer! Sources tell us that HUAWEI recalled over 60,000 of their P20 Pro smartphones after they shipped with real ROM!


The HUAWEI P20 Pro Recall

The HUAWEI P20 Pro is 6.1″ smartphone with a Full HD+ OLED display, and is powered by the octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970, with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory128 GB of flash storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery.

However, a large number of the P20 Pro had to be recalled after HUAWEI discovered that they shipped with real ROM, instead of regular flash memory. In a way, these 60,000 HUAWEI P20 Pro smartphones made history by being the first smartphones to actually shipped with real ROM chips!

HUAWEI traced the fault to a manager at their flash memory supplier who took their order for ROM chips too literally. They shipped actual ROM chips to them, instead of eMMC / UFS NAND chips that smartphones use.

The unnamed manager defended his action, pointing out that even HUAWEI’s website clearly states that the P20 Pro comes with ROM, and not regular NAND flash memory chips.

We checked, and true enough, the HUAWEI website officially lists that the HUAWEI P20 Pro comes with 128 GB ROM.

The moral of this story – STOP CALLING FLASH MEMORY ROM!!!


ROM versus Flash

ROM is short for Read Only Memory. The most basic ROM chip has its data programmed during its manufacture, and cannot be deleted or edited. ROM chips are useful because they are non-volatile – they retain their data even when power is cut.

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Newer ROM chips can be reprogrammed, but only slowly and with some difficulty – the entire chip must be erased before being overwritten. They are mostly used to store computer firmware that are not changed very often.

Flash memory, which is used as smartphone storage and in computer solid state drives, is also non-volatile. But their data can be replaced on a block-by-block basis, allowing them to be used as storage devices.

In short – smartphones do NOT use ROM chips for storage. They use flash memory chips!


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ADATA XPG SX8000 Gaming SSD Launched

Taipei, 29 September 2016 – ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the XPG SX8000 SSD, which uses an M.2 form factor loaded with 3D MLC NAND Flash and an SMI 2260controller.

The SX8000 meets NVMe 1.2 specifications and connects directly to motherboards via PCI Express 3.0 x4 (PCIe 3×4) to deliver 2.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write, with 100K/140K IOPS. The SX8000 arrives in diverse capacities (128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB), ensuring a new generation of SSD performance is available to more users.

A slightly faster version fitted with an attractive XPG heatsink will release by the end of October, promising an aesthetic bonus for case modding enthusiasts.



Compact M.2 PCI 3×4 shatters speed barriers

The XPG SX8000 connects to desktop and notebook PCs via low profile M.2 2280 and channels data through PCI Express 3.0 x4 (four lane). The low latency and big bandwidth of PCIe enable up to 2.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write – four times the read and twice the write performance of average SATA 6Gb/s SSDs. Random 4K IOPS figures are 100K read and 140K write, also significantly more than SATA-based drives.

The SX8000 features full NVMe 1.2 compatibility, powering a large performance boost that means users notice gains in real world scenarios, especially loading times within games that require heavy asset streaming and in professional applications such as graphics and audio rendering.

Flexible and durable 3D NAND

The XPG SX8000 represents a new era not just in performance, but in its very architecture. It uses reliable 3D MLC NAND Flash, allowing ADATA to produce versions in capacities from 128GB to 1TB. With 3D NAND, reliability, performance, and efficiency all get a boost as more storage is fitted onto a smaller form factor without increasing power demands. The SX8000 features a 2 million hour MTBF (mean time between failures) rating, or 25% longer than 2D NAND SSD (which average 1.5 million hours).

Range of data-enhancing features

ADATA firmware design takes utmost data performance and integrity into consideration with every SSD. Intelligent SLC Caching allows the drive to operate in pseudo single-level cell mode for speed boosts when extreme data loads are encountered. It can also leverage system RAM to increase performance via DRAM Cache Buffer, helping maintain consistent throughput even during the most intense tasks.

LDPC ECC (low density parity check error correction) prevents data corruption and promotes integrity, while Data Shaping evenly distributes task loads across NAND Flash cells. The SX8000 is therefore a pioneer in performance that offers a complete package of reliability-augmenting features. It is backed by a 5-year warranty.

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Stacker NAND Technology TRIPLES Flash Capacity

Terrarium Labs announces the successful certification of their Stacker NAND technology which triples the capacity of existing flash memory technologies. As an IP R&D company based in the China West Technology Park, Terrarium Labs has been focused on developing compression technology to massively expand flash storage capacity.


Stacker NAND Technology

Unlike existing MLC and TLC NAND technologies, Stacker NAND works independently of NAND process technologies. In fact, it is applied to existing NAND flash technologies to triple their capacities.

The Stacker NAND technology uses two different compression methods to deliver TRIPLE the capacity of any existing NAND flash storage technology.

The first is a lossless data compression algorithm that compresses data before they are written to the NAND flash memory. Depending on the file type, this can almost double the amount of data that can be stored in a particular flash chip.

To further increase the storage capacity to 3X, they add a lossy compression technology which applies filters that reduces the randomness of the data. This allows the earlier lossless compression technology to be even more effective.

At the moment, Terrarium says 3X more storage is a good compromise between additional storage and loss of data. But if necessary, they can scale it up to 5X or even 6X.


Only For Photos & Videos

As you can tell, the Stacker NAND technology cannot be used for regular data. It is designed to be used only for photos and videos. Terrarium Labs was very explicit that their compression technology will change some data in return for much small file sizes when compressed. However, they see this as a small price to pay for much larger storage capacities at the same price.

According to Terrarium Labs, a 256 Gbit Stacker NAND module paired with a regular 256 Gbit NAND module will double the effective capacity for very little cost – 768 Gbit of lossy storage + 256 Gbit of lossless storage.

Below is a prototype M.2 SSD module they created out of one regular 256 Gbit NAND module and two 256 Gbit Stacker NAND modules for 2.33X the effective storage capacity – 1,792 Gbits of storage, instead of just 768 Gbits. That’s just over 1,000 Gbits of extra storage!

Although Terrarium Labs admits that their lossy compression algorithm will reduce image quality, they say that at 3X, this is minimal and will only be obvious if the pictures or videos are examined very closely. They also pointed out that some of the filters used will actually reduce noise, which enhances picture and video quality.

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Photo Comparison

Obviously, we found that hard to believe, so they invited us to send them some photo samples. We sent them a dozen photo samples from the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 and the recently-reviewed honor 5X smartphone. Take a look at the four comparisons of their lossy compression filters at work.

They are correct that the difference is subtle and only apparent up close. There is some loss of detail, but also less noise. But would you accept such changes?



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Terrarium partners can pair the Terrarium Stacker processor with any number of NAND modules, and choose either lossless or lossy compression, or both.

Terrarium is also offering the compression software to partners who prefer to do without the processor, but it may sap up to 30% of a quad-core processor’s cycles.

They claim they’re currently in talks with the top smartphone manufacturers from the United States, Korea and China to introduce the Stacker processor and/or software into the next-generation smartphones.


Fun Fact

Tech old-timers will remember Stacker, the disk compression utility for MS-DOS. It not only doubled the capacity of our puny 42 MB hard disk drives, it also sped up reads and writes by compressing data before they were written to the abysmally-slow hard disk drives of the day. However, Stac Electronics, the company that developed Stacker soon crumbled after Microsoft introduced their free DoubleSpace disk compression software.

Little known to many, Stac Electronics spun off a chip making company called Hifn, which makes encryption and compression processors. Some of Hifn’s key engineers are those who helped form Terrarium Labs. That’s why they named their first product – Stacker.


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