At the beginning of this month, there were reports that Huawei Mate40 series was suspected of using Huawei’s self-developed flash memory, which also caused some controversy.
Now, the mystery is finally revealed: Huawei Mate40 series uses 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory particles from Yangtze River Storage.
Looking back at previous reports, according to netizens’ actual tests on the flash memory performance of Huawei Mate40 Pro, the continuous reading and writing speeds of Huawei Mate40 Pro reached 1966MB/s and 1280MB/s, respectively, which are much higher than other flagship phones.
For comparison, the read and write speeds of the Mi 10 Extreme Edition with UFS3.1 flash memory are 1772MB/s and 789MB/s; Samsung Note20 Ultra are 1750MB/s and 736MB/s respectively.
From a data comparison point of view, Huawei Mate40 Pro flash memory write has improved significantly, compared with competing flash memory performance, some increase even more than 70%.
Regarding the test results of the flash memory read and write speed of the Mate 40 Pro significantly better than the latest UFS 3.1 standard flash memory used in other flagship machines, some netizens broke the news that Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro+ and Mate 40 RS Porsche designs all use Huawei A new type of flash memory developed by ourselves (or sfs 1.0).
According to the dismantling of Huawei Mate40 RS Porsche design by Iao Technology, it also shows that it uses flash memory printed with HiSilicon Logo. In other words, this flash memory chip may be based on Huawei’s self-developed technology.
However, we all know that Huawei itself is not a memory chip manufacturer, and does not have the ability to develop and produce flash memory chips. At present, mainstream flash memory manufacturers such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and Kioxia are basically self-developed, self-produced, and self-sold, and there is no business of manufacturing memory chips for third parties.
However, in the storage field, there is another business model. Some manufacturers that do not have the production capacity of flash memory particles purchase flash memory particles from mainstream flash memory manufacturers such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and Kioxia, and then add self-developed flash memory particles. Or a third-party flash memory controller and firmware, and then package and test by yourself (or outsource), and print your own LOGO. For example, Longsys, Baiwei Storage, Time Creative and other manufacturers.
Therefore, for Huawei, the flash memory chip printed with Huawei HiSilicon’s own LOGO on its Mate40 series is likely to purchase flash memory particles from some major flash memory manufacturers, and then add a self-developed flash memory controller (Huawei Has always had its own self-developed flash memory control chip), and then packaged through a third-party packaging and testing factory.
This can also explain why the flash memory performance of Mate40 Pro far exceeds other UFS 3.1 standard flash memory.
So the question is, which memory chip manufacturer’s flash memory particles does Huawei use?
At the Beijing Microelectronics International Conference on November 18, Yang Shining, CEO of Yangtze Storage, publicly stated that compared with major international storage companies, the company has achieved the leap from 32-layer to 64-layer to 128-layer in just 3 years. , 3 years to complete the road they have traveled in 6 years.
In addition, Yang Shining also confirmed one thing, that is, Yangtze River Storage’s 64-layer flash memory has successfully entered the supply chain of Huawei’s Mate40 series. He also borrowed a network term to say that “debut is the peak.”
According to data, in September 2019, Yangtze River Storage officially announced that its 64-layer stack 3D NAND flash memory has begun mass production. This flash memory is the world’s first 64-layer 256Gb TLC 3D NAND flash memory based on the Xtacking architecture. That is, each bare chip has a storage capacity of 256 Gigabytes, and each storage unit is a three-word 3D flash memory.
Thanks to the self-developed Xtacking technology of YMTC, YMTC’s 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory has been greatly improved in read and write speed and storage density.
In terms of I/O speed, NAND flash memory currently mainly uses two I/O interface standards, namely the ONFi recommended by Intel/Sony/SK Hynix/Phison/Western Digital/Micron. In the latest ONFi 4.1 specification released in December last year , The maximum I/O interface speed is 1200MT/s (1.2Gbps).
The second standard is Toggle? DDR, which is mainly promoted by Samsung/Toshiba, with an I/O speed of up to 1.4Gbps. However, most NAND suppliers can only supply I/O speeds of 1.0 Gbps or lower. The Xtacking architecture of YMTC successfully increased the speed of the I/O interface to 3Gbps, which is equivalent to the I/O speed of DRAM DDR4.
In terms of storage density, in the traditional 3D NAND architecture, peripheral circuits account for about 20-30% of the chip area, which reduces the storage density of the chip. With 3D NAND technology stacked to 128 layers or even higher, peripheral circuits may account for more than 50% of the overall chip area.
Xtacking technology puts the peripheral circuit on the storage unit, thereby achieving a higher storage density than traditional 3D NAND (the 64-layer density of the Yangtze River is only 10-20% lower than the 96-layer competitor).
In April of this year, YMTC announced that its 128-layer QLC 3D NAND flash memory (model: X2-6070) has been successfully developed and has been verified on terminal storage products such as SSDs from many controller manufacturers. At the same time, Yangtze River Storage’s self-developed Xtacking technology has also advanced to the second generation.
In addition, in terms of production capacity, according to TrendForce’s data, Yangtze River Storage’s current production volume has reached 50,000 pieces/month, and it is expected to increase to 100,000 pieces/month by the end of next year.
Since YMTC’s 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory was mass-produced last year, it has now been adopted by many SSD brand manufacturers. Not long ago, YMTC also launched its own SSD brand “Zitai”, and related products have also been launched. Sale. However, it is indeed a bit surprising that YMTC’s 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory has entered the supply chain of Huawei’s Mate40 series.
Affected by the US ban in May last year, the author believes that after the successful mass production of YMTC’s 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory last year, Huawei should have begun cooperation with YMTC.
Although in August this year, the United States upgraded its ban on Huawei, prohibiting third-party chip or component manufacturers based on US technology from supplying Huawei without a license.
However, the 64-layer 3D NAND supplied by YMTC to Huawei is likely to be delivered before the September 15 deadline, so it did not violate the ban. Otherwise, Dr. Yang Shining, CEO of Yangtze Storage, will not disclose this news publicly.
Of course, from another point of view, compared to logic chips such as CPUs, memory chips may have a lower design complexity, and their dependence on U.S. EDA software is also lower, and the core flash memory technology of YMTC It is also mainly based on self-research. At the same time, the requirements for the process technology of the memory chip are lower than that of the mobile phone CPU. In the whole process from design to production, the dependence on American software, technology and equipment is low.