Friday, July 6th 2018

Chinese DRAM Companies Stealing DRAM IP From Samsung and SK Hynix

It's not just Micron, but also Korean DRAM giants Samsung and SK Hynix, that are the latest victims of large-scale industrial espionage by Chinese DRAM makers to steal vital DRAM intellectual property (IP), according to Korea Times. Today's DRAM makers build their products on IP acquired over decades, and that is time Chinese companies do not have, and aren't willing to license from established DRAM makers, either.

"Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have become the target of industrial espionage by Chinese memory chip manufacturers. In semiconductors, patents are critical to the cost structure. The companies have to protect what they have spent decades building. The result is Chinese companies are attempting to infringe on Samsung and SK patents," said a Korean official involved in the investigation of IP theft.
"Without intellectual property, you can't become a meaningful player. You need brand-new technology and you have to have capability for large-scale production. Also, you should be qualified for product specifications and designs and to meet demanding customer application requests. All of these can be done with intellectual property that has been built over the course of decades. Chinese companies aren't ready for this," said a Samsung engineer. "Chinese companies are finding the development of DRAM and flash-memory manufacturing processes is more difficult to than they thought."

Both Korean companies are closely following the ongoing legal battle between Micron Technology and Fujian Jin Hua IC, in Chinese courts; where the American company is faring badly in counter-lawsuits. Fujian Jin Hua IC is alleged to have used Taiwanese semiconductor foundry UMC to steal Micron's IP, whereas a counter-suit by UMC seems to have won in Chinese courts, with Micron staring at a market-access denial by China, in the backdrop of one of the biggest trade-wars between China and the United States, ever. Source: Korea Times
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49 Comments on Chinese DRAM Companies Stealing DRAM IP From Samsung and SK Hynix

#1
sutyi
Normally I would say corporate espionage and stealing others intellectual property is bad, but considering that in the past and even recent 5 years these very same companies were caught fixing memory prices and today DDR4 prices more then doubled or even some tripled all the while they enjoyed record profits on this. So I couldn't give a rat's ass.
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#2
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Two wrongs don't make a right. They all need to be prosecuted.
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#3
Prima.Vera
China managed to callously stole IP for Nuclear weapons, missiles or space rockets from Russia/USSR. What it's a "small" thing like the DRAM technology on the extremelly long line of stealing and copying IP...
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#4
techy1
"FordGT90Concept said:
Two wrongs don't make a right. They all need to be prosecuted.
it is not like (IP developers and owners) did not know how china market works - China literally demand these companies to hand over your IP before you do business there (is not that like red flag?) and on top of that in this case DRAM producers did think that their x2-x3 price increase (via fixing) will still fly there? I mean not only are DRAM producers dumb (to handle over their IP as demanded) but also greedy (to continue to keep x3 markups in the same market)
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#5
natr0n
Eventually we will see a thread of someone using knockoff china ram with overclocking results.
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#6
phanbuey
the chinese hacker in that photo looks russian.
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#7
GoldenX
If this brings lower DRAM prices, then f**k the IP owners, they had time to fix the market.
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#8
Xzibit
"phanbuey said:
the chinese hacker in that photo looks russian.
Its just a regular guy with a grey ski-mask (symbolizing a hacker) and the overlay of the chinese flag.
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#10
bug
"natr0n said:
Eventually we will see a thread of someone using knockoff china ram with overclocking results.
Neah, we'll see the Chinese using cheap RAM (cause they won't need to cover R&D) while we'll be left with even more expensive RAM once more legit makers lose their foothold in China.
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#11
Metroid
I would like to see if the situation was inverse, how the chinese would feel about it.
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#12
bug
"Metroid said:
I would like to see if the situation was inverse, how the chinese would feel about it.
They've invented plenty of stuff we're using for free. Unfortunately for them, they invented them before we invented IP protection :D

The thing is, China knows it lags technologically, so their law mandates you can't do business in China without partnering up with a local firm. Only a complete idiot will believe you can partner up without the other party grabbing your IP, yet companies still have no problem doing business in China. They must figure the revenue from that market is greater than what they loose through IP. The ugly side being companies in China get to make products for cheap (not footing the R&D bill) and keep on ruining companies that truly innovate.
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#13
R0H1T
"sutyi said:
Normally I would say corporate espionage and stealing others intellectual property is bad, but considering that in the past and even recent 5 years these very same companies were caught fixing memory prices and today DDR4 prices more then doubled or even some tripled all the while they enjoyed record profits on this. So I couldn't give a rat's ass.
Yeah you don't but the vast majority of us do & knowing China's modus operandi maybe you should reconsider your opinion!
For instance over here, Chinese phone makers undercut local competition by selling mid range phones at dirt cheap prices, virtually killing them in the process. Surprise surprise, 5 years on with the market cornered, they're overcharging for the same mid range phones!
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#14
bug
"R0H1T said:
Yeah you don't but the vast majority of us do & knowing China's modus operandi maybe you should reconsider your opinion!
For instance over here, Chinese phone makers undercut local competition by selling mid range phones at dirt cheap prices, virtually killing them in the process. Surprise surprise, 5 years on with the market cornered, they're overcharging for the same mid range phones!
It happened in many countries, in many areas. Tools, clothing, you name it. If they don't need to "copy" IP, then the state offers subsidies. Not to mention their artificially controlled currency.
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#15
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
I thought the Chinese would be more interested in stealing military secrets than RAM blueprints/schematics/datasheets but this is good too. If they can offer ram at a much cheaper price then im all for it so long as its reliable and decent quality
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#16
R0H1T
"FreedomEclipse said:
I thought the Chinese would be more interested in stealing military secrets than RAM blueprints/schematics but this is good too. If they can offer ram at a much cheaper price then im all for it so long as its reliable and decent quality
Capitalism (& Imperialism) works the same everywhere & there is no (ideal) global free market forces/authorities to keep the Chinese greed in check. As they say ~ be careful what you wish for!
"bug said:
It happened in many countries, in many areas. Tools, clothing, you name it. If they don't need to "copy" IP, then the state offers subsidies. Not to mention their artificially controlled currency.
Yeah & if you care about global warming, & pollution, then the Chinese growth model of overproducing the sh!t out of everything should scare you!
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#17
ST.o.CH
Nature always finds the way.
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#18
R0H1T
"ST.o.CH said:
Nature always finds the way.
That's cute except when people are preaching eye for an eye it just makes the world blind, not four eyed. If you think Samsung, SK Hynix colluded to fix mem prices then fine them, break them up but to give more power to the Chinese will only lead to one conclusion.
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#19
stimpy88
Standard operating procedure in China. This may make that little fine a bit tougher to hand out, unfortunately.

However I find it funny when someone copies Samsung, the original photocopier tech company.
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#20
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
"GoldenX said:
If this brings lower DRAM prices, then f**k the IP owners, they had time to fix the market.
Sure, why not just f**k anyone that ever developed or invented anything while we are at it? Because, I’ll tell you, it would stagnate all advancement in any field, that’s why. What China is doing should not be condoned at all.
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#21
Caring1
"stimpy88 said:
However I find it funny when someone copies Samsung, the original photocopier tech company.
Say what! Care to back that up?
Xerox is to photocopiers what IBM was to computers.
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#22
TheinsanegamerN
Good. These companies have been fixing prices for years, making the market attractive to countries like China who see an opportunity for $$$. And when you export your production to countries like Thailand and China, dont be surprised when your tech is stolen.

At the very least, this will force these companies to drop their price fixing garbage.

"rtwjunkie said:
Sure, why not just f**k anyone that ever developed or invented anything while we are at it? Because, I’ll tell you, it would stagnate all advancement in any field, that’s why. What China is doing should not be condoned at all.
When the companies involved export their production to insecure asian countries and fix the market causing large price increases and big fat margins, anyone could have told them china would be trying to do this. When companies abuse their position for long enough, many people lose sympathy for them when their tech gets stolen.
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#23
DeathtoGnomes
Let the trade wars begin! :mad::nutkick:

wait! where'd i hear that recently? :rolleyes:
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#24
Static~Charge
"Assimilator said:
The price of doing business in China.
The mistake of doing your manufacturing in China.
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#25
Totally
"Metroid said:
I would like to see if the situation was inverse, how the chinese would feel about it.
Scroll down the TPU front page to the Micron being banned article.
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