Did China Ban Micron From Government Purchases? Short Answer, YES

China banned Micron from government purchases

The Chinese government recently took a significant step against an American semiconductor company Micron Technology with corporate headquarters in Boise, ID. The Cyberspace Administration of China announced that Micron, one of the largest producer of memory chips in the world, posed significant security risks to China’s critical information infrastructure supply chain. As a result, it ordered operators of critical national infrastructure to refrain from purchasing Micron’s products.

Experts believe that Micron became an apparent target for China due to its technology, which could be more easily replaced with chips from South Korean competitors such as Samsung and SK Hynix. In fact, just last month, the White House requested that South Korea’s chipmakers refrain from filling any market gap in China if the sale of Micron’s products were to be restricted.

China conveyed its decision to Micron during a meeting held in Beijing on Sunday.

Could this be backlash for the United States restricting Huawei products within its borders due to concerns over security risks? If you remember, the ban was implemented to protect the country’s critical information infrastructure from potential threats posed by Huawei’s technology. Several factors contributed to this decision.

One of the primary concerns is the alleged close relationship between Huawei and the Chinese government. There have been suspicions that Huawei’s equipment could potentially be used for unauthorized surveillance or cyberattacks, posing a threat to national security. The fear is that the Chinese government could exploit vulnerabilities in Huawei’s technology to gain access to sensitive information or disrupt critical networks.

Furthermore, the ban on Huawei products is also driven by concerns about intellectual property theft. The United States has accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and engaging in unfair business practices, leading to legal disputes and a deterioration of trust between the two nations.

The US government has taken measures to protect its communication networks by restricting the use of Huawei equipment. These actions have included banning federal agencies from purchasing Huawei products and urging allies to follow suit. The concern is that relying on Huawei’s infrastructure could compromise the integrity and security of the country’s telecommunications networks.

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Micron Jumps 5% On Stock Price due to EUV Technology in Japan

Micron, EUV Technology, building

Micron Technology, a company that makes computer memory, experienced a nearly 5% increase in its stock price during early trading on Thursday. The reason for this boost is Micron’s announcement that it will introduce an advanced technology called extreme ultraviolet (EUV) in Japan. This technology will be used to produce the next generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM).

Micron, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, stated that it is the first chip company to bring EUV technology to Japan for manufacturing. The company will be assisted by its facility in Hiroshima. Micron plans to invest up to $3.63 billion in the process over the next few years, with support from the Japanese government. The aim of this investment is to facilitate further technological advancements, particularly in emerging areas such as generative artificial intelligence applications.

Micron’s President and CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, expressed his pride in being the first to implement EUV technology in Japan. He emphasized the significance of developing and producing 1-gamma at the Hiroshima facility. Mehrotra also acknowledged Micron’s commitment to Japan, its strong relationship with the Japanese government, and the exceptional skills of the Micron Hiroshima team.

Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) technology is an advanced manufacturing technique used in the production of semiconductor devices, such as computer chips. It involves the use of extremely short-wavelength light, specifically in the range of 13.5 nanometers, which falls within the extreme ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. EUV light has much shorter wavelengths than the ultraviolet light used in conventional chip manufacturing processes.

EUV technology offers several advantages over traditional lithography methods. The shorter wavelength of EUV light enables higher precision and resolution in creating smaller and more intricate circuit patterns on silicon wafers. This allows for the production of denser and more powerful semiconductor devices. Additionally, EUV technology reduces the complexity and number of process steps required in chip manufacturing, leading to increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Implementing EUV technology in semiconductor fabrication requires specialized equipment and processes. It involves using a powerful EUV light source to project a pattern onto a silicon wafer coated with light-sensitive materials, known as photoresist. The pattern is transferred onto the wafer, forming the intricate circuitry and structures that make up the semiconductor device.

EUV technology represents a significant advancement in the semiconductor industry and enables the development of smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient chips. It plays a crucial role in meeting the increasing demand for higher-performing electronic devices and paves the way for future technological innovations.

Starting in 2025, Micron plans to gradually incorporate EUV technology into its manufacturing processes in Taiwan and Japan, specifically in the 1-gamma nodes.

Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, highlighted the importance of the partnership between Micron and Japan, stating that it represents a significant advancement in securing the semiconductor supply chain. Emanuel also emphasized the potential for economic growth and security through collaboration in cutting-edge technologies.

The announcement follows reports that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was scheduled to meet with executives from various semiconductor companies, including Micron, to strengthen cooperation in the industry.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno emphasized that the semiconductor supply chain cannot be established by a single country alone. He stressed the importance of collaboration with like-minded countries and regions to achieve this goal.

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Western Digital Experiences Security Issues – March 2023

Western Digital, corporate office, Irvine CA

Western Digital, an Irvine CA based company who makes digital storage devices and technology, recently revealed that they experienced a security issue on March 26. An unauthorized person gained access to some of their systems without permission. As a result, Western Digital took many of their servers offline, which caused problems for customers who couldn’t access their data remotely.

As you can guess, everyone is concerned. Joseph Carson, who is a security scientist, said that it’s a reminder of what can happen when attackers gain access to a company’s network. He pointed out that since Western Digital is a cloud storage company with many customers, the impact of the breach is even greater because many consumers and businesses couldn’t access their important data remotely.

Tom Kellermann, a cyber strategy expert, shared similar worries. He called this a significant supply chain attack, which means that it could have a widespread impact on e-commerce. He also mentioned that if this attack was done by a rogue nation state, it could have national security implications that last for months.

On the positive side, Erich Kron, an advocate for security awareness, praised Western Digital for quickly addressing the issue and being transparent about it. He also said that it’s important for organizations to have a plan to deal with network attacks that could lead to ransomware, a type of malicious software that can lock up data until a ransom is paid. Kron mentioned that many of these attacks happen because of human error, so it’s important for employees to be trained and educated about how to spot email phishing attacks and other tricks used by hackers.

Western Digital said that they are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident, and they will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Western Digital experienced a security breach that affected their systems and caused disruption for their customers. Experts are concerned about the impact of this breach and emphasize the importance of organizations having plans in place to deal with network attacks. Western Digital is actively investigating the incident and working with authorities to resolve the issue.

Western Digital is a company that manufactures data storage devices, including flash drives, SSD hard drives, server and IT solutions. Flash drives are small devices that can store and transfer data, such as documents, photos, and videos. Western Digital uses advanced technology to create USB flash drives by integrating memory chips, controllers, and other components into a compact and portable design. The memory chips store data in a way that allows it to be quickly accessed and transferred. The controllers manage the flow of data between the memory chips and the device it’s connected to, ensuring smooth operation. Western Digital follows strict quality control and testing processes to ensure that their flash drives are reliable and durable. Once the flash drives are manufactured, they are packaged and distributed to retailers for sale to consumers and businesses for various data storage needs.

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Micron Memory – Idaho – Settles Immigration Lawsuit

Micron Memory, Boise, ID, corporate office location

The Justice Department recently made an announcement about a settlement agreement with Micron Technology Inc., a company that makes computer parts. The settlement is related to a violation of a law called the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), where Micron discriminated against a U.S. citizen by not hiring him for a job and instead hiring someone with a temporary visa.

The Department started investigating Micron when a U.S. citizen complained that he was unfairly denied a job because of his citizenship status. The Department found out that Micron had wrongly preferred a temporary visa worker for the job, without properly considering the qualifications of the U.S. citizen. The INA, which is a federal civil rights law, says that employers cannot discriminate against job applicants based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin during any stage of the hiring process, unless required by law.

As part of the settlement, Micron has to pay a civil penalty to the United States and give back pay totaling $85,000 to the worker who was affected by the discrimination. Micron also has to train its staff on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, change its policies and procedures, and be monitored by the Department for two years.

The INA is enforced by a section of the Civil Rights Division called the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). This law prohibits discrimination in various employment practices, such as hiring, firing, recruitment, and referral for a fee, based on citizenship status and national origin. It also addresses unfair documentary practices, as well as retaliation and intimidation.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized that companies cannot unlawfully discriminate against job applicants based on their citizenship or immigration status, and that the Department will continue to hold companies accountable for violating this federal civil rights law, regardless of their size.

In conclusion, the Justice Department reached a settlement agreement with Micron due to their violation of the INA by discriminating against a U.S. citizen during the hiring process. The settlement includes financial penalties, back pay to the affected worker, and requirements for Micron to train their staff, change policies, and be monitored by the Department. The INA, enforced by the Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in various employment practices.

Micron memory refers to a type of computer memory produced by Micron Technology, a global leader in semiconductor and memory solutions. Micron memory encompasses a range of memory products including dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and NAND USB flash memory, which are essential components in various computing devices such as smartphones, computers, servers, and data centers.

DRAM is a type of volatile memory that provides fast and temporary storage for data that is being actively used by a computer. It is widely used in applications that require high-speed data processing, such as gaming, multimedia, and cloud computing.

NAND flash memory, on the other hand, is a non-volatile memory that retains data even when the power is turned off. It is commonly used for long-term data storage in devices like solid-state drives (SSDs), memory cards, and USB drives.

Micron’s memory solutions are known for their high performance, reliability, and energy efficiency, and are used by a wide range of industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, and enterprise markets, to enable advanced computing and data storage capabilities.

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Silicon Motion Purchased By UK Investment Firm (in Q4 – 2022)

M&G Investment purchased Silicon Motion Technology, corporate building

M&G Investment Management Ltd. recently bought more shares of a company called Silicon Motion Technology Co. This company makes small computer parts used in things like phones and cameras. Even though the company didn’t make as much money as people thought it would last year, it still made a lot of money. M&G Investment Management Ltd.’s purchase shows that they believe Silicon Motion Technology Co. will continue to grow in the future.

Investors should pay attention to Silicon Motion Technology Co.’s ( a.ka. SMI ) plans for new products, especially for things like smartphones. If they don’t make new and popular products, they might not make as much money in the future. However, the company is trying new things to improve, so it might be a good investment in the long term.

Silicon Motion Technology is a multinational company that designs and develops microcontrollers for solid-state drives (SSDs), embedded multimedia cards (eMMCs), and other NAND flash memory applications. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Taiwan, with additional offices and facilities located in China, South Korea, Japan, and the United States. Silicon Motion’s products are used in a wide range of consumer electronics devices, including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, and portable media players, as well as in industrial and automotive applications.

Silicon Motion is known for its high-performance integrated circuits, which are used to control and manage the storage of data in SSDs and other flash memory devices. The company’s products are designed to be fast, reliable, and energy-efficient, making them ideal for use in mobile devices and other battery-powered applications. In addition to its microcontroller products, Silicon Motion also offers software solutions for managing and optimizing SSD performance, as well as hardware products for secure data storage and wireless connectivity. The company’s focus on innovation and customer satisfaction has helped it to become a leader in the fast-growing market for flash memory technology.

M&G Investment Management Ltd. is a UK-based investment management company that offers a range of investment services to individual and institutional clients. The company was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in London, with additional offices located throughout Europe and Asia. M&G Investment Management Ltd. manages a diverse range of investment products, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and separately managed accounts, with a focus on delivering strong long-term returns for its clients.

M&G Investment Management Ltd.’s investment philosophy is based on a disciplined, research-driven approach that emphasizes risk management and a long-term investment horizon. The company’s investment process is designed to identify undervalued assets with strong fundamentals and the potential for future growth. M&G Investment Management Ltd. employs a team of experienced investment professionals who use a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis to evaluate investment opportunities across a range of asset classes and geographies. With a focus on sustainability and responsible investing, M&G Investment Management Ltd. is committed to integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into its investment process to help create a more sustainable future for all.

Reasons For Purchase

There are several reasons why M&G may purchased Silicon Motion Technology. First, the company is well-positioned to benefit from the growing demand for flash memory and storage solutions in the data center, mobile, and automotive markets. Silicon Motion’s NAND flash controllers are used in a variety of applications, including solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, and memory cards.

Nexcopy Incorporated, a California based manufacturing company is a prime example of business using USB flash drives and memory cards who employ advanced technologies offered by SMI in their microcontroller products.

Second, Silicon Motion has a strong track record of innovation and product development. The company invests heavily in research and development (R&D), and has a large portfolio of intellectual property (IP). This gives SMI a competitive advantage in the market and allows it to develop new products and technologies that meet the evolving needs of its customers.

Third, Silicon Motion has a solid financial position and a strong balance sheet. The company has a history of generating strong cash flows, which it has used to reinvest in the business and pay dividends to shareholders. This financial stability makes Silicon Motion an attractive investment opportunity for M&G.

Finally, M&G’s investment in Silicon Motion is consistent with its strategy of investing in companies that are well-positioned to benefit from disruptive technology trends. As the world becomes increasingly digital, the demand for storage and memory solutions is only going to grow. By investing in Silicon Motion, M&G is positioning itself to benefit from this growth and to generate strong returns for its investors.

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Possible Kioxia / Western Digital Merger: Who is Kioxia?

Who is Kioxia, building

Kioxia Holdings Corporation, abbreviated as Kioxia and stylized as KIOXIA, is a Japanese-American multinational computer memory manufacturer headquartered in Tokyo. In June 2018, Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from the Toshiba conglomerate. On March 1, 2019, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation and was renamed Kioxia in October 2019

While still a subsidiary of Toshiba, the company was credited with inventing flash memory in the early 1980s. The company is expected to have 18.3% of the global revenue share for NAND flash solid-state drives in the second quarter of 2021. Kioxia Corporation’s parent company is this one.

Fujio Masuoka, an engineer at Kioxia predecessor Toshiba, invented flash memory in 1980, and Masuoka and his colleagues presented their NOR flash invention in 1984.

Toshiba Corporation completed its acquisition of OCZ Storage Solutions in January 2014, renaming it OCZ and making it a Toshiba brand.

Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from Toshiba Corporation on June 1, 2018, due to heavy losses incurred by the bankruptcy of former parent company Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary over nuclear power plant construction at Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in 2016. Toshiba retained 40.2% ownership of the new company. Toshiba’s memory businesses were all merged into the new company. On March 1, 2019, Toshiba Memory Corporation became a subsidiary of the newly formed Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation.

Kioxia suffered a power outage at one of its factories in Yokkaichi, Japan, in June 2019, resulting in the loss of at least 6 exabytes of flash memory, with some sources estimating the loss to be as high as 15 exabytes. Western Digital used (and continues to use) Kioxia’s facilities to manufacture its own flash memory chips.

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Key Value Store Computational Storage Device for NAND

Key Value Store Computational Storage Device, KV-CSD

KV-CSD is an acronym for Key Value Store Computational Storage Device and Hynix a NAND memory manufacturer is directing their technology towards this storage approach.

Here at GetUSB.info we focus on NAND memory and typically look at the write speeds of devices. However, for data centers and analytic companies, the ability to retrieve data is more important. The ability to read the index of where data is and then retrieve it is a key part for data analytics and how companies can react to queries.

Just imagine something like an insurance company holding millions of policies and related customers who need to search and sort through large amounts of data quickly while servicing customers… now imagine that same requirement during a natural disaster where the incoming requests skyrocket. Quickly finding the data needed becomes a mission critical task.

Traditional methods for indexing are “relationship databases” and done on a file-record level. A file-record indexing approach uses predefined data structures in the database as a series of tables containing data about the type of information related to the files, like meta-data tags.

In contrast, key–value systems treat the data as a single transparent collection which can have many different values for each record in a column structure. The indexing values in a column provide a more efficient method to search the indexed data to more efficiently find the requested data.

What Hynix is doing is introducing a method to index content on the fly (as it’s being written) into NAND memory so when a subsequent search is performed the result will present itself more quickly.

Hynix teamed with Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico who is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, and managed by Triad, a public service-oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Reference material: Los Alamos National Laboratory website page about collaboration.

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Samsung UFS 4.0 Has 2,800MB/Second Write Speeds

Samsung, UFS 4.0

UFS 4.0 Has 2,800MB/Second Write Speeds

Samsung claims to have created the industry’s highest performing Universal Flash Storage (UFS). With read speeds of up to 4,200MB/s and write speeds of up to 2,800MB/s, UFS 4.0 is twice as fast as the previous generation.

Not only is UFS 4.0 faster than previous generations, but Samsung claims it also consumes less power. As a result, the company claims that it will be at the heart of future mobile storage solutions, having a dramatic impact on smartphone performance as well as having a significant impact on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hardware.

According to Samsung, UFS 4.0 comes in a small package that measures 11mm by 13mm by 1mm and can support capacities of up to 1TB. This 1 TB has a sequential read speed of 6 MB/s per mA, a 46 percent improvement over the previous generation’s power consumption.

“UFS 4.0 offers up to 23.2Gbps per lane, which is double that of the previous UFS 3.1,” Samsung claims. “That much bandwidth is ideal for 5G smartphones, which require massive amounts of data processing, and it is also expected to be used in future automotive applications, AR, and VR.”

The performance is also impressive, with a sequential read speed of up to 4,200MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 2,800MB/s promised. The previous generation, UFS 3.1, could promise write speeds of up to 1,200 MB/s. More than doubling the previous generation’s speed while using nearly half the power is likely to have a significant positive impact on device performance.

JEDEC, the Solid State Technology Association, an independent semiconductor engineering trade organization and standardization body, has approved the UFS 4.0 standard specification. Samsung says mass production of UFS 4.0 storage will begin in the third quarter of 2022, and that it is collaborating with smartphone and consumer device manufacturers from around the world to create an ecosystem of support for UFS 4.0 to make market adoption easier and faster.

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Micron Technology Announces 232 Layer 3D NAND by End of 2022

Micron announced the industry’s first 3D NAND memory device with 232 layers on Thursday. The company intends to use its new 232-layer 3D NAND products for a variety of applications, including solid-state drives, and expects to begin mass production of such chips in late 2022.

micron, 3d nand, 232 layer

Micron’s 232-layer 3D NAND device has a raw capacity of 1Tb and a 3D TLC architecture (128GB). The chip is based on Micron’s CMOS under array (CuA) architecture and stacks two arrays of 3D NAND on top of each other using the NAND string stacking technique.

The CuA design, combined with 232 layers of NAND, will significantly reduce the die size of Micron’s 1Tb 3D TLC NAND memory, allowing Micron to price devices featuring these chips more aggressively or simply increase its margins.

Micron did not specify I/O speeds or the number of planes in its new 232L 3D TLC NAND IC, but it did state that the new memory will outperform existing 3D NAND devices, which will be especially useful for next-generation SSDs with a PCIe 5.0 interface.

Speaking of SSDs, Micron’s executive vice president of technology and products, Scott DeBoer, stated that the company has worked closely with developers of in-house and third-party NAND controllers (for SSDs and other NAND-based storage devices) to ensure proper support for the new type of memory (and make sure those upcoming drives end up in our best SSDs list).

“We optimized [232-layer 3D NAND] technology around what we need to make the world’s fastest managed NAND and both datacenter and client SSD products,” said DeBoer. “The combination of controllers, both internal and external, has been a strong element of our vertical product integration focus to ensure that we have optimized NAND and controller technology for what we need to deliver future leadership products.”

Among the benefits of its 232-layer 3D TLC NAND are Micron mentioned lower power consumption compared to previous-generation nodes, which will be another advantage given Micron’s historical focus on mobile applications and relationships with device makers.

Given that Micron will begin production of 232-layer 3D TLC NAND devices in late calendar 2022, we can expect SSDs powered by the new memory to arrive in 2023.

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What Is 3D NAND Flash Memory?

3D NAND, flash drive

3D NAND was developed in response to the scaling limitations of 2D NAND memory.

The layers in 3D NAND were flipped from horizontal to vertical orientation and strings of them were built to form a tower. By changing the direction of how the cells are configured created opportunity to increase storage capacity, reduce size of the storage area and reduce the power consumption to access the cells.

Honestly, it’s a complicated explanation to describe the changes between 2D and 3D NAND, but we found this awesome video from TechTarget. The video is very direct and to the point without over complicated explanations. Please watch it. 2min 20 seconds long.

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