Xi’an UniIC Semiconductors, a memory producer based in China, has started to sell DDR4 DRAM chips and modules that were developed and made in-house. This is the first time when a China-based company develops its own DDR4 memory chips. In the meantime, it is completely unclear which process technology Xi’an UniIC uses to manufacture the chips and whether it was developed in-house.

Xi’an UniIC’s DDR4 lineup includes 4 GB and 8 GB SO-DIMMs, 4 GB and 8 GB UDIMMs as well as a 4 GB UDIMM with ECC, all rated for data transfer rate of 2133 MT/s with CL15 15-15 timings at 1.2 V (according to Xi’an UniIC’s DDR4 product decoder). All the DIMMs are based on Xi’an UniIC’s own DDR4 memory chips featuring 4 Gb capacity. The modules and the chips are not meant to offer breakthrough performance levels and are probably aimed at various inexpensive PCs, most of which will be sold in China.

Xi’an UniIC’s DDR4 Lineup
  Type Capacity Speed Timings Voltage
SCQ04GU03AF1C-21P UDIMM 4 GB 2133 MT/s CL15 15-15 1.2V

Xi’an UniIC’s DDR4 products can hardly impress avid readers who follow DRAM innovations closely (and know that leading makers already produce DDR4-3600 ICs), but the fact that a Chinese company has developed and produced such chips is important itself. Meanwhile, Xi’an UniIC actually has history of DRAM production, so the new memory was hardly developed entirely from scratch.

Xi’an UniIC was founded in 2003 as Infineon Xi’an Memory Division and was then renamed to Qimonda Xi’an in 2006 after Infineon spun off its DRAM business. From 2003 to 2009 the company produced DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and other memory types for the parent company (Xi’an UniIC still offers them). After Qimonda went bankrupt in 2009, Inspur Group acquired remaining assets of its Xi’an subsidiary and started to produce its own DRAM in late 2010 (using IP and process technologies originally developed by Qimonda). In 2013, the company constructed the Xi’an Memory Engineering Technology Research Center with the help from Xi’an Science & Technology Agency. This R&D center apparently worked on DDR4 memory ICs as well as a new process technology to make them. Sometime in 2015 the company was acquired by Unigroup Guoxin (which is a part of Tsinghua Holdings) and was renamed to Xi’an UniIC Semiconductor. With financial and political backing of the multi-billion dollar government-controlled conglomerate, Xi’an UniIC finished development of its 4 Gb DDR4 chips and a fabrication process to produce them.

Xi’an UniIC reportedly started sales of its DDR4 memory modules recently. PC Watch notes that the company’s 8 GB UDIMM was added to the CPU-Z database in September, 2016, so they could be available to customers in China for a while now. What remains unclear is whether the DDR4 ICs from Xi’an UniIC use any IP originally owned by Infineon/Qimonda and whether the manufacturer intends to sell its chips and modules outside of China.

Related Reading

Sources: PC WatchXi’an UniIC Semiconductors

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  • Anymoore - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Sorry that is DDR. They don’t list DDR4 yet, it could include 4Gb. Could it be sourced from outside China?
  • yuhong - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    In general, there is no DDR4 below 4Gbit BTW.
  • xrror - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    If they can offer modules up to the DDR4 2966 with CL16 - I think that would be the inflection point where it gets serious for home builders. It's also what AMD (Ryzen) also needs - especially APUs.

    But 2400 is good enough for bulk volume OEM Intel boxes. Which I suspect is where the money is and the target for this venture.
  • ET - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    I'd say that 2400 is good enough for home builders, just not enthusiasts getting highest end parts. I'd say that even if only 2133 was available for $70 per 16GB, as it was in mid-2016, and the rest were at current prices or close to that, i.e., more than double that, most people would buy 2133 and be done with it.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    2400 is good enough for big OEMs and penny pinching system builders, at any rate. Who can blame them? Margins are thin. But home builders, as in people who build machines for themselves and family? Who wouldn't spent a few more dollars on faster RAM on their own personal rig? People act like it's a massive price difference... it's not. When comparing like-to-like (same brand, quality, etc) It is quite literally a few dollars between 2400 and 3000.

    Even looking at non-fair comparisons the difference isn't much. On Newegg right now the cheapest Team Elite DDR4 2400 16GB 2 x 8 kit with CRAP timings is $159.99. Meanwhile a decent GeIL or G.SKILL DDR4 3000 2 x 8 kit with *better timings* (DESPITE the higher clocks!) run around $166-170. So even an unfair comparison pegs you at $7-10 more for vastly superior RAM.

    So yeah... DDR4 2133, 2400, whatever. Great for OEMs. Not worth the "savings" for homebuilt. It's a no-brainer.
  • yuhong - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    There is also the distinction between 1.2V and 1.35V that consumers more power.
  • piroroadkill - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    Nah, the most important chips are 2133 - the volume is in phones these days. If China can make enough RAM chips for Chinese produced smartphones, Samsung's mature fabs can supply the enthusiast market.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    Phones use LPDDR. Are they producing LPDDR? Didn't sound like it from the article.
  • piroroadkill - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    Sincere apologies. It seems you are correct.
  • zodiacfml - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Their presence is not felt. Bought some 8GB DDR4 sticks recently and couldn't believe the price. It should have been a 16GB for the price.

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