US Restricts Memory Chip Technology to China

By: Joseph Lee on October 10th, 2022

On Friday, October 7th, 2022, the US Department of Commerce passed extensive regulations to cut China off from accessing certain semiconductor microchip technology made with U.S. equipment from anywhere in the world. Chinese chipmakers will no longer receive equipment to produce advanced logic chips under 16 nanometers (nm) in size. This restriction targets Beijing’s technological and military advancements in an attempt to slow their development. 

China is already restricted from purchasing Nvidia and AMD’s flagship artificial intelligence (A.I.) chips. This helps domestic companies grow quickly without having to compete against China’s burgeoning chip market. Read More:  

The scope of this update is primarily for equipment producing the following chips: 

  • Logic (non-planar transistor architectures, I.e. FinFET or GAAFET) chips 16nm or smaller 
  • Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips of 18nm half-pitch or less 
  • NAND flash memory chips with 28 layers or more 

These restrictions stipulate that foreign-owned production centers located in China will also need to apply for approval on a case-by-case basis to continue to obtain manufacturing-related equipment. Furthermore, DRAM equipment must be reviewed by the US Department of Commerce before import, severely delaying China’s DRAM development. 


Impacted Chipmakers 

A number of global chip fabrication factories within China will be impacted. ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) is the largest Chinese-owned memory chip plant with about 1.4% of total worldwide DRAM capacity production. Also, South Korea’s SK Hynix DRAM factory in Wuxi, which produces 13% of global DRAM capacity, will also be impacted by this restriction measure. 


Measure the Impact of Regulations on your BOM 

With any new regulations, it is important to see the impact they could have on your organization’s business and procurement strategies. Risk can be mitigated by using an automated BOM Manager tool. SiliconExpert tracks numerous risk factors within BOM Manager, including multi-sourcing risk and inventory levels. 

SiliconExpert’s data team is constantly monitoring disruptive events and updating risk levels for certain components that may be impacted by those events. Users can get instant alerts if inventory levels have dropped below a certain threshold, allowing proactive measures to be taken to avoid a disruption in the supply chain. 

To learn more about SiliconExpert’s BOM Manager and our risk-mitigation software, contact us below:

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