Apple to Buy 3D NAND Memory from Chinese YMTC

silversurfer

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Apple has reportedly approved 3D NAND flash produced by Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp. and will now use it for its upcoming iPhone 14 smartphones. The move represents a strong win for YMTC and will ensure steady supply of flash memory for Apple's next-generation products.

For now, Yangtze Memory will supply Apple 3D NAND for its upcoming iPhone 14 handsets, reports BusinessKorea. Smartphones are Apple's most popular products, so Apple needs boatload of DRAM and NAND for its smartphones. But eventually Apple could adopt YMTC's memory for other products as well. For example, YMTC has extremely competitive products incoming, such as its latest family of six-plane 3D NAND chips featuring the company's Xtacking 3.0 architecture and a 2400 MT/s interface speed. These chips could eventually enable some of the best SSDs.

It is going to take a while for YMTC's latest products to mature and get into Apple's other products. But considering specifications offered by the company's latest 3D NAND devices as well as Apple's expertise in 3D NAND and controllers, YMTC's have all chances to land into iPads or Macs at some point.

Being one of the world's largest consumers of 3D NAND flash, Apple tends to procure memory from different vendors, including Kioxia, Samsung, and SK Hynix. Adding YMTC to the supply chain means that Apple will now have more choice from characteristics and performance points of view as well as better positions to negotiate prices as many products supplied by the four manufacturers are more or less identical.
 

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Apple warned by US lawmakers over using Chinese YMTC chips in new iPhone​

Republican lawmakers have said Apple is "playing with fire" if reports of its plans to source 3D NAND flash from China's YMTC (among others) for the upcoming iPhone 14 prove true.

Apple currently sources NAND flash from Korean giants Samsung and SK hynix, as well as Japanese producer Kioxia (formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corporation). It also buys RAM from SK hynix and Samsung, making its supply chain heavily reliant on Korea.

The lawmakers in question were Marco Rubio, vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee (R-Florida), and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who is on the House foreign affairs committee and would potentially lead that committee if his party wins control of the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections. Democrats currently hold a slight majority in the House and Republicans are aiming to reclaim control.

The pair were speaking to business daily the Financial Times.
"Apple is playing with fire," Rubio told the FT. "It knows the security risks posed by YMTC. If it moves forward, it will be subject to scrutiny like it has never seen from the federal government."
McCaul added: "This could very likely devastate the memory chip market and give China even more control of this critical national security technology."
 

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