236-layer memory flash available next year.
Electronics giant Samsung has, for the last nine years, been steadily building its manufacturing presence in China, centered mainly in the urban metropolis of Xi’an. The manufacturing plants provide around 40% of the overall volume for the 3D NAND memory chip so their value both to Samsung and to the local economy of Xi’an itself is substantial.
But until now, production of the NAND has only been of the 128-layer variety. But with the current U.S. administration relaxing some export restrictions on China from next year, the 236-layer model will thus be available to American consumers from next year.
Now that U.S. authorities have signaled their intent to lift some trade embargoes on the Middle Kingdom (imposed during a trade dispute between the two countries by the Trump administration), some of which have already taken effect, Samsung can proceed full-steam ahead with upgrading its manufacturing plants in Xi’an to accommodate the 236-layer designs to be produced there.
128-layer chips have become a loss-making product line and thus their replacement with the 236-layer successor will ensure an abundance of leftover chips for the electronics giant, meaning supply volume will not be dented in the interim transition.
This transition will allow Samsung to streamline and reduce its overhead costs, so long as its manufacturing plants are upgraded properly and efficiently in addition to U.S. authorities giving final approval on trade restrictions relaxation.