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Micron Start Sampling DDR5 RDIMMs

Micron has today announced that it started sampling RDIMMs based on DDR5 technology to its industry partners. Designed for server operations, these DDR5 modules come in RDIMM form-factor and feature Error-Correcting Code (ECC) technology for removing any error that occurs inside electronic circuits. The new DDR5 standard offers a massive performance uplift compared to the previous generation of DDR4 memory. For starters, DDR5 will double the MT/s transfer rate to 6400 MT/s, double the speed of the original 3200 MT/s speed for DDR4 that was established by JEDEC. The bandwidth of the new DDR memory is supposed to be 32 GB/s, which is 25% faster than the original 25.6 GB/s bandwidth of DDR4.

With DDR5, the SDRAM prefetch buffer data size is being doubled to 16 data words per memory access, making for a 16n prefetching throughput. Another improvement is that the highest possible density for DDR5 chips is now being up to 64 Gb per chip. Additionally, DDR5 is supposed to bring the power needed for chip operation down to 1.1 volts, which is around 8% lower than what DDR4 achieved. There are also features like MIR (Mirror Pin) which provides better DIMM signaling, and more options for PRECHARGE and REFRESH commands that can now operate on a per bank basis, so specific banks can be refreshed in bank group. It is also worth pointing out that DDR5 chips are manufactured using 1znm memory manufacturing process.

NAND Flash Prices to Rise up to 40% in 2020

According to the sources over at DigiTimes, NAND flash prices are set to rise by up to 40% in 2020. This report is coming from sources over at memory chipmakers, presumably some of the biggest players like SK Hynix, Micron, and Samsung. If the prediction realizes, consumers will see a significant price jump for products based on NAND flash memory like most of today's solid-state drives. For reference, earlier today we also reported that a minute long power outage at Samsung created damage worth millions of Dollars in DRAM and NAND flash memory.

This incident alone could help contribute to the price rise of NAND memory in 2020. Other possible reasons may include an inefficient supply of materials used by NAND flash production lines or a simple supply-demand ratio, which would hurt prices of NAND flash long-therm. However, we hope that the underlying problems for this predicted price rise can be worked out and that companies like Samsung, which got power outage accident, can supplement the capacity loss during the unplanned turn of events.

Intel Takes the Crown of World's Largest Semiconductor Supplier in 2019

Intel is set to become the world's largest semiconductor supplier of 2019, according to the research from IC Insights. Intel held a crown for the largest semiconductor supplier since 1992, until 2018 when Samsung overtook it because of the booming DRAM business driven by high demand and not enough supply. Being Samsung's main business, any DRAM price/demand fluctuation was having a massive impact on its business. Due to high demand and high pricing, Samsung saw a massive revenue jump which resulted in a new king of the world's largest semiconductor supplier.

However, having seen predictions for a fall of 34% for this year, the decrease in demand will result in lower revenue for all DRAM market suppliers. SK Hynix, Micron and Samsung are expecting their revenues to decline around 29% on a year-over-year basis given the situation. This is resulting in lower revenue for Samsung than Intel has, and makes Intel the king of semiconductors once more. Intel's revenue is expected to reach around 70 billion USD, which is similar to last year's numbers.

Micron Memory Sets New DDR4 Overclocking World Record

Ballistix, Micron's global brand of high-performance gaming memory, has set a new overclocking world record for the fastest DDR4 memory frequency at 6024 MT/s. Leveraging performance-tuned Micron die and the innovation behind the new Ballistix Elite 4000 memory, the ASUS motherboard R&D team set the record using liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling and the following system setup: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X processor; ASUS X570 ROG CROSSHAIR VIII IMPACT motherboard; Ballistix Elite DDR4 4000 8 GB memory.

"We're thrilled to have partnered with Ballistix to achieve this new world record," said Albert Chang, general manager of the motherboard BU for ASUS. "Both overclocking teams worked tirelessly to fine-tune BIOS settings on our newly-released ROG CROSSHAIR VIII IMPACT board to unleash the capabilities of the Micron die. Setting the new world record of 6024 MT/s with Ballistix Elite 4000 memory on our new ROG AMD X570 motherboard is a powerful demonstration of the engineering excellence ASUS ROG and Micron bring to the gaming ecosystem." The record-breaking frequency is posted on HWBOT, and the valid CPU-Z screenshot can be found here.

Micron Brings 3D XPoint Technology to Market With the World's Fastest SSD

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced a breakthrough in nonvolatile memory technology with the introduction of the world's fastest SSD, the Micron X100 SSD. The Micron X100 SSD is the first solution in a family of products from Micron targeting storage- and memory-intensive applications for the data center. These solutions will leverage the strengths of 3D XPoint technology and usher in a new tier in the memory-to-storage hierarchy with higher capacity and persistence than DRAM, along with higher endurance and performance than NAND.

"Micron's innovative X100 product brings the disruptive potential of 3D XPoint technology to the data center, driving breakthrough performance improvements for applications and enabling entirely new use cases," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana. "Micron is the only vertically-integrated provider of DRAM, NAND and 3D XPoint solutions in the world, and this product continues the evolution of our portfolio towards higher value solutions that accelerate artificial intelligence capabilities, drive faster data analytics and create new insights for our customers."

CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX Memory Breaks 5000MHz Barrier on AMD Ryzen Processors

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new kit of its award-winning CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX DDR4 Memory, becoming the first commercially available high-frequency DRAM to break the 5,000 MHz barrier. This record-setting Micron-based memory is available now in a 2x 8 GB kit, reaching its full potential in select MSI X570 motherboards running 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors.

VENGEANCE LPX once again sets a new milestone in the world of performance memory, continuing to deliver on its long-standing tradition of excellence thanks to the partnership between CORSAIR, MSI, and AMD. The new modules have been specifically designed and fully tested to achieve their record-breaking maximum frequency of 5,000 MHz on the Ryzen 3000 platform in MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE, MSI MEG X570 ACE, MSI MEG X570 UNIFY, and PRESTIGE X570 CREATION motherboards using their included automated overclocking utilities.

Micron Tapes Out 128-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology has taped out its 4th generation 3D NAND flash memory with 128 layers. This paves the way for mass production and product implementations in 2020. The 4th gen 3D NAND by Micron continues to use a CMOS-under-array design, but with Replacement Gate (RG) Technology instead of Floating Gate, which Micron and the erstwhile IMFlash Technology had been using for years. Micron is currently mass-producing 96-layer 3D NAND flash, and TLC remains the prominent data-storage physical layer despite the advent of QLC (4 bits per cell).

Micron comments that this 4th gen 128-layer 3D NAND will be a stopgap restricted to a select few applications, and may not see the kind of adoption as its current 96-layer chips. The company appears to be more focused on its evolution, possibly the 5th generation 3D NAND, which are expected to bring tangible cost-per-bit gains for the company, as it transitions to a newer silicon fabrication node, and implements even newer technologies besides RG. "We achieved our first yielding dies using replacement gate or "RG" for short. This milestone further reduces the risk for our RG transition. As a reminder, our first RG node will be 128 layers and will be used for a select set of products. We don't expect RG to deliver meaningful cost reductions until FY2021 when our second-generation RG node is broadly deployed. Consequently, we are expecting minimal cost reductions in NAND in FY2020. Our RG production deployment approach will optimize the ROI of our NAND capital investments," said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO and president of Micron.

China Starts Production of Domestic DRAM Chips

China's semiconductor industry is seeking independence in every sector of its industry, with an emphasis of homemade products for domestic use, especially government facilities, where usage of homegrown products is most desirable. According to the report of China Securities Journal, Chinese firm has started production of DRAM memory.

A company named ChangXin Memory Technology, founded in 2016 to boost domestic silicon production, on Monday started production of DRAM memory, aiming to directly replace the current supply of foreign memory from companies like Micron, SK Hynix and Samsung. Being build using 18 nm technology which ChangXin calls "10-nanometer class" node, this DRAM chip isn't too far behind offers from competitors it tries to replace. Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix use 12, 14, and 16 nm nodes for production of their DRAM chips, so Chinese efforts so far are very good. The company promises to produce around 120.000 wafers per month and plans to deliver first chips by the end of this year.

Micron Commences Volume Production of 1z Nanometer DRAM Process Node

Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), today announced advancements in DRAM scaling, making Micron the first memory company to begin mass production of 16 Gb DDR4 products using 1z nm process technology

"Development and mass production of the industry's smallest feature size DRAM node are a testament to Micron's world-class engineering and manufacturing capabilities, especially at a time when DRAM scaling is becoming extremely complex," said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of Technology Development for Micron Technology. "Being first to market strongly positions us to continue offering high-value solutions across a wide portfolio of end customer applications."

ADATA Launches 2 TB Version of Its XPG SX8200 Pro NVMe SSD

Amidst falling prices of NAND flash and increased desirability from users' part, companies have been expanding their portfolio of SSD offerings for the consumer side of the fence as well as the enterprise one. ADATA's XPG SX8200 Pro SSD was initially only offered in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB configurations, but in the case of SSD storage, "moar" is usually better. We'll see when do 256 GB offerings get discontinued, but I'd give it another pair of years at the most.

The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro features Silicon Motion's SM2262EN controller packing eight NAND channels, four ARM Cortex-R5 cores, support for NVMe 1.3, LDPC ECC, RAID engine et all (eh), paired with Micron's 3D TLC NAND - no QLC here, folks. The SSD offers up to 3.5 GB/s sequential read speed and up to 3 GB/s sequential write speed, and up to 360K random read/write 4K IOPS. The ADATA SSD features a TBW rating of 1280 TB over a 5-year warranty period - and a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) rate of 2,000,000 hours (something like 83.333, 33 (3) days of continuous usage. Now that's north of two hundred years of continuous operation, which makes me sad just thinking about it and what I'd do with that time. In another conscience state, perhaps. ADATA's 2 TB XPG SX8200 Pro is $289.99, in select European countries (from eBay) at about €308, and in Japan for ¥36,680.

Marvell Announces 88SS1320-series PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell today released the industry's lowest power PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era.

"Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, vice president of marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."

ADATA Shows Off a JEDEC-compliant 32GB Dual-rank DIMM That Isn't "Double Capacity"

Last year, with the introduction of the Intel Z390 chipset, there was a spate of so-called "double capacity DIMMs" or DC DIMMs, tall memory modules with two rows of DRAM chips, which added up to 32 GB per DIMM. You needed a Z390 platform and a 9th generation Core processor that supported up to 128 GB of memory, to use these things. With the introduction of 16 Gb DDR4 DRAM chips by both Micron and Samsung, JEDEC-compliant 32 GB unbuffered DIMMs of standard height are finally possible, and ADATA put together the first of these, shown off at Computex 2019.

The AD4U2666732GX16 is a 32-gigabyte dual-rank unbuffered DIMM made using 16 Gb chips supplied by Micron Technology. The modules tick at JEDEC-standard DDR4-2666 speeds, at a module voltage of 1.2 Volts. ADATA didn't disclose timings. The 16 Gb DRAM chips are made by Micron in an advanced (3rd generation) 10 nm-class silicon fabrication process to achieve the desired transistor-density. 32 GB DIMMs are expected to hit critical-mass in 2H-2019/2020, with the advent of AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse," and Intel's "Ice Lake-S" desktop processors. Memory manufacturers are also expected to put out speedy and highly-compatible single-rank 16-gigabyte DIMMs using 16 Gb chips, which could finally make 32 GB dual-channel the mainstream memory configuration, moving up from half a decade of 2x 8 GB.

AMD Takes a Bigger Revenue Hit than Microsoft from Huawei Ban: Goldman Sachs

The trade ban imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and ratified through an Executive Order by President Donald Trump, is cutting both ways. Not only are U.S. entities banned from importing products and services from Huawei, but also engaging in trade with them (i.e. selling to them). U.S. tech firms stare at a $11 billion revenue loss by early estimates. Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs compiled a list of companies impacted by the ban, and the extent of their revenue loss. It turns out that AMD isn't a small player, and in fact, stands to lose more revenue in absolute terms than even Microsoft. It earns RMB 268 million (USD $38.79 million) from Huawei, compared to Microsoft's RMB 198 million ($28.66 million). Intel's revenue loss is a little over double that of AMD at RMB 589 million ($84 million), despite its market-share dominance.

That's not all, AMD's exposure is higher than that of Intel, since sales to Huawei make up a greater percentage of AMD's revenues than it does Intel's. AMD exports not just client-segment products such as Ryzen processors and Radeon graphics, but possibly also EPYC enterprise processors for Huawei's server and SMB product businesses. NVIDIA is affected to a far lesser extent than Intel, AMD, and Microsoft. Qualcomm-Broadcom take the biggest hit in absolute revenue terms at RMB 3.5 billion ($508 million), even if their exposure isn't the highest. The duo export SoCs and cellular modems to Huawei, both as bare-metal and licenses. Storage hardware makers aren't far behind, with the likes of Micron, Seagate, and Western Digital taking big hits. Micron exports DRAM and SSDs, while Seagate and WDC export hard drives.

Ballistix DRAM Crushes World DDR4 Overclocking Record at 5726MT/s

Ballistix, Micron's gaming memory brand, is now the official overclocking world record holder. Overclockers used the Ballistix Elite 3600MT/s to set a new overclocking record for the fastest DDR4 memory frequency at a blistering 5726 MT/s. That's 79 percent faster than the max JEDEC DDR4 speed of 3200 MT/s and 115 percent faster than the 2666 MT/s considered mainstream today.

How's that for a speed run? Yes, this record is a big, big, (big, big) deal to us here at Ballistix. But we care just as much about how we earned the top mark. We're proud that we were able to use the same CAS latency - CL24 - used by most of the previous record holders. In addition, we set the record using the same production module of the Ballistix Elite 3600 available to gamers today.

Intel Receiving $1.3B From Micron for IM Flash Stake

The Intel-Micron divorce in the wake of the former's exit from the joint Im Flash venture has taken some strange turns. However, it seems that Micron is looking to take the entire business out of Intel's hands and keep the manufacturing capacity that was jointly developed and invested in all for themselves, offering Intel anywhere from $1.3B to $1.5B for their stake on the venture - including associated debt of the IMF venture to Intel, which amounts to a cool $1B of that amount. This means that Intel's stake in the venture is being valued at $300 to $500 million.

The only remaining factory that is being operated by both parties is located in Lehi, Utah, and exclusively fabricates 3D XPoint memory, which has only been turned to a consumer and professional product by Intel. The acquisition from Micron means they'll have to fulfill Intel's 3D XPoint orders until 2020, and that they'll be investing on the factory's capacity to produce 2nd generation 3D XPoint for their own product portfolio, as well as post-3D XPoint technologies.

Micron Introduces 9300 Series NVMe Enterprise SSDs

Micron Technology, Inc., today unveiled its new series of flagship solid-state drives (SSDs) featuring the NVM Express (NVMe) protocol, bringing industry-leading storage performance at higher capacities to cloud and enterprise computing markets. The Micron 9300 series of NVMe SSDs enables companies with data-intensive applications to access and process data faster, helping reduce response time.

"The introduction of our third generation of NVMe SSDs endorses our tradition of continued innovation for cloud and enterprise markets," said Derek Dicker, corporate vice president and general manager for Micron's Storage Business Unit. "The Micron 9300 is our flagship series of NVMe SSDs, which feature industry-leading sequential write performance and latency, increased capacities, and delivery of a 28% reduction in power over the previous generation."

Intel-Micron Divorce Gets Messy, Micron Employee Served Court Order to Return 3D XPoint IP

Intel and Micron Technology have parted ways from the IMFlash Technology joint-venture that set out to win the emerging non-volatile memory market with limited success. The two are now locked in numerous legal skirmishes arising from the disjointing of a major high-technology alliance, as employees migrate to either company. One such former Intel engineering-manager is in the middle of a legal spat, named Doyle Rivers. Rivers jumped ship from Intel to Micron Technology, allegedly carrying with him a large amount of trade-secrets and IP related to Intel's 3D XPoint memory and Optane products.

Intel Tuesday secured a preliminary injunction from the US District Court for the Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division, which tells Rivers to not possess, use, or disclose any confidential Intel information related to the company's 3D XPoint or Optane products, including personnel working on those products; and to return any such possessions to Intel. Rivers' defense claims Intel gets nothing from this injunction. In a telephonic interview with The Register, Daniel Sakaguchi, a partner at Alto Litigation in San Francisco, representing Rivers, stated "Mr. Rivers doesn't have anything to return," adding "We continue to take the position that Intel's claims are greatly exaggerated."

Micron Unveils 2200 Client-segment SSD, Ditches SMI for In-house Controller

Micron has curiously been releasing client-segment SSDs these recent weeks. The company's main brand was focused on enterprise products, while subsidiary brands Crucial and Ballistix catered to the client-segment. Following up on its late-February launch of the 1300-series client-segment SSDs, Micron unveiled the even faster 2200-series. These drives ditch Silicon Motion-sourced controllers in favor of a new controller Micron designed in-house. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, taking advantage of the NVMe protocol. This in-house controller is mated with Micron's 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, cushioned by its own LPDDR4 DRAM cache.

Available in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the Micron 2200 is rated to offer sequential transfer rates of up to 3000 MB/s reads, with up to 1600 MB/s writes, up to 240,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 210,000 IOPS 4K random writes, with an endurance rating of 75 TB, 150 TB, and 300 TB, for the 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB variants, respectively. Micron-exclusive features also make their way, such as native power-loss data-protection, and TCG Opal SED. The company hasn't revealed pricing or availability for these drives.

TrendForce: Recent DRAM Pricing Decline Biggest Since 2011, Nearly 30% Decrease

The latest analysis of the PC DRAM market from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, finds that most contracts are now monthly deals rather than quarterly deals, with February even seeing a most unusual, large down-correction in prices. The current quarterly decline dropped from the originally projected 25% to nearly 30%, resulting in the sharpest decline in a single season since 2011.

DRAMeXchange points out that, according to the most recent market observations, inventory levels have kept climbing ever since overall contract prices dropped in the fourth quarter of last year, and most DRAM suppliers are currently holding around a whopping six weeks' worth of inventory (wafer banks included). Meanwhile, Intel's low-end CPU supply shortage is expected to last until the end of 3Q19, and PC-OEMs are unable to carry out the consumption of DRAM chips under demand suppression. The overall market has thus entered freefall, meaning that large reductions in prices aren't going to be effective in driving sales. The excessively high inventory will continue to cause down-corrections in prices this year if demand doesn't make a strong comeback.

Micron Introduces New Client SSD To Accelerate Mobile Computing

Micron Technology, Inc. today added a new cost-efficient solid-state drive (SSD) to its client computing portfolio. The Micron 1300 SSD makes flash storage accessible to more users, enabling its adoption in a broader set of personal computing devices for a better mobile computing experience. Consumers who are eager to move from rotating media to solid state drives value fast performance, quick startup, and reliability - whether for desktop, mobile or workstation PCs. SSDs address these needs better than power-hungry hard disk drives (HDDs), yet their higher prices have kept users from shifting to SSDs. Micron redesigned the 1300 SSD series to close the price gap.

"The deployment of advanced 3D NAND technologies has led the client SSD market to branch into value and higher-performance storage segments," said Gregory Wong, president of Forward Insights. "Micron's latest client SSD solutions provide a coherent migration path from HDD to value-oriented SSDs."

DigiTimes: Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix to See DRAM, Flash Revenue Fall in 1Q19

DigiTimes is reporting that three of the major DRAM and Flash players in the industry - Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix - are expected to drop an astonishing 26% sequentially on 1Q19 and 29% YoY for 1Q19. The combined revenue drop for the three DRAM and Flash semiconductor giants comes in the face of seasonality and decreasing prices, and the decline continues an already negative 4Q18, which saw a decrease of 18% sequentially and 26% from a year earlier.

With memory pricing facing a continuous decline in recent times, clients are taking a pondered approach towards ordering from manufacturers - an expectation of future savings being the main factor for this. Demand, however, is expected to pick up in 2H19, due to increased demand from end customers, following price-cuts from manufacturers and improved specifications on end-products.

Crucial Intros 960GB Variant of BX500 SSD

Crucial late Thursday rolled out a 960 GB variant of its entry-level BX500 SATA SSD series (model: CT960BX500SSD1). The BX500 earlier came in capacities only up to 480 GB. The drive implements Micron's latest 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory mated to an SMI SM2258XT DRAM-less controller. Its rated performance is same as the 480 GB model, with up to 540 MB/s reads and up to 500 MB/s writes. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drive takes advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The drive is now selling for USD $129.99 ($0.13 per GB).

China-based DRAM Maker Fujian Jinhua Closing Shop in March Following US Trade Ban in October

Remember that story we brought you regarding the United States government, via its Department of Commerce, banning all exports from national companies to China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuits Ltd? Well, fast-forward three months, and the Financial Times is reporting, citing two sources close to the matter, that the ban has been too much for the company to take, limiting its ability to import needed parts and tools for its DRAM production. This is tough news for a company that was investing towards finishing construction of a $5.7 billion factory in China's Fujian Province.

If the Financial Times is true, this is one potential player in the DRAM market that goes out the proverbial window. The original reasons given by the Department of Commerce for the export ban referred to the company being supported by "likely U.S.-origin technology", reportedly of Micron origin. Well, now it seems as if it isn't being supported at all.

GDDR6 Memory Costs 70 Percent More than GDDR5

The latest GDDR6 memory standard, currently implemented by NVIDIA in its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards, pulls great premium. According to a 3DCenter.org report citing list-prices sourced from electronics components wholeseller DigiKey, 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips from Micron Technology cost over 70 percent more than common 8 Gbps GDDR5 chips of the same density, from the same manufacturer. Besides obsolescence, oversupply could be impacting GDDR5 chip prices.

Although GDDR6 is available in marginally cheaper 13 Gbps and 12 Gbps trims, NVIDIA has only been sourcing 14 Gbps chips. Even the company's upcoming RTX 2060 performance-segment graphics card is rumored to implement 14 Gbps chips in variants that feature GDDR6. The sheer disparity in pricing between GDDR6 and GDDR5 could explain why NVIDIA is developing cheaper GDDR5 variants of the RTX 2060. Graphics card manufacturers can save around $22 per card by using six GDDR5 chips instead of GDDR6.

DRAM Price-Fix Uncovered in China, 'Massive Evidence' Against Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation has been conducting an anti-monopoly investigation of the global Dynamic RAM market. According to an interview of Wu Zenghou (bureau's head) in the Financial Times, this process has found "massive evidence" against the three companies (Samsung, Hynix, and Micron) that are responsible for the vast majority of this segment. "The anti-monopoly investigation into these three companies has made important progress", points out the investigator. On April these three companies were hit with a price-fixing suit on the same matter in the US, and this investigation seems to confirm those reports.

There is even an older precedent, as Samsung and Hynix were fined both by the US Department of Justice in 2005 and by the European Commission in 2010 on price-fixing allegations. The charges now are similar, and if the companies are found guilty, they could face fines of over $2.5 billion. Some analysts suggest this investigation could be part of the trade war between China and the US, with the former trying to get some leverage pushing the Chinese semiconductor company Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit as a bigger player on this market. One that, by the way, is being investigated on allegations of misappropriated trade secrets from Micron. Samsung and SK Hynix have accused China DRAM makers of industrial espionage, too.
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