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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  • jbwhite99 - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    The most expensive part of making memory is not the silicon (sand) - it is building the fab. So when demand is low, the price plummets, as Micron, Hynix, and Samsung need to keep running their fabs to cover the enormous fixed costs.

    More supply is good - this will reduce the price at the bottom of the market first - then we will see the upper half of the market slowly drop in price. Can you explain why I need LEDs and fancy heatsinks in my memory?
  • Scholzpdx - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - link

    LEDs cost practically nothing these days and I'm not complaining about good heatsinks. I got tired real quick of putting on my own.
  • StrangerGuy - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    The memory cartel has fought tooth and nail for years to prevent China from acquiring memory manufacturing capabilities, and thankfully they failed.

    Now that the floodgates are open, there is nothing holding China on memory, like what they did previously to utterly dominate LCD and Li-ion production.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    You mean the flood of crap LCD panels (on the low end, thankfully) and crappy dangerous batteries? I agree that the RAM shortage is a serious problem that affects all us of, but I wouldn't cheer China's state-run industry so vigorously. I'd rather they kept to the low end of the market.
  • yuhong - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    It is unlikely that they would be able to sell really crappy or unreliable DRAM to PC OEM.
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    I'd say the most intersting question is the production capacity and plans to scale it up. Seems to be a good time to enter this business seriously, but it's got to happen quickly.
  • Scholzpdx - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - link

    I'm interested in their process and facility. Any info on that?
  • iwod - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    I dont see this posted anywhere including from Uni and Xi. There was some news last December claiming they started shipping DDR4. And turns out it was fake news.
  • jjj - Friday, March 2, 2018 - link

    It seems the modules actually use Hynix DDR4.
  • Adramtech - Sunday, May 6, 2018 - link

    Everyone here is forgetting that lesser technology chips are more expensive to make and more expensive to buy than newer tech. China has to start a the high-end of the industry to have a chance to compete.

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