Montage Technology: Mass production and shipment of DDR5-related chips began in Q4 last year

Recently, Montage Technology said in an institutional survey that DDR5-related chips have just started mass production and shipment in the fourth quarter of 2021, and the volume is continuous and scaled. From an industry perspective, in the DDR5 generation, in addition to memory interface chips, server memory modules require 3 companion chips (SPD, TS, and PMIC), and UDIMMs and SODIMMs for PCs and laptops require 2 companion chips (SPD and PMIC). ), the value of the entire DDR5-related chips is higher than the DDR4 generation. Since DDR5 is a brand new product, the rhythm of related chips needs further observation. If you refer to the penetration rhythm of DDR4 memory interface chips, usually the penetration rate of each descendant product can reach about 20~30% at the end of 12 months after the mass production, 50~70% at the end of 24 months, and about 50~70% at the end of 36 months. Basically, this offspring has completed most of the market penetration.

According to Montage Technology, the increase in gross profit margin is mainly due to the fact that the current gross profit margin of the first generation of DDR5 memory interface chips is higher than that of the last generation of DDR4 memory interface chips. The gross profit margin of the connected chip product line increased.

It is reported that the company's research and development of the second-generation DDR5 memory interface chip are progressing as planned. In the process of the subsequent generation of DDR5, the company is confident to maintain its competitive advantage. On the one hand, the company's technology is leading, and on the other hand, it is also related to the company's industry status in JEDEC. Montage is one of the three Chinese companies in the JEDEC board of directors. At the same time, he serves as the chairman of three committees and chapters under JEDEC, and is deeply involved in the formulation of standards for related products in this segment.

According to Montage Technology, judging from the relevant information released by JEDEC, three generations of DDR5 memory interface chips have been planned, and the supported rates are 4800Mbps, 5600Mbps, and 6400Mbps respectively. The speed may support up to 8400Mbps, and the industry is still further discussed. Further observations are needed on the iteration speed of the DDR5 memory interface chip offspring. Regarding DDR6, there have been preliminary discussions in the industry. We will continue to pay attention to the development of the industry and participate in the discussion and formulation of relevant standards.

According to the data, SERDES is the abbreviation of SERializer (serializer)/DESerializer (deserializer). It is a mainstream time-division multiplexing (TDM), point-to-point (P2P) serial communication technology. That is, the multi-channel low-speed parallel signals are converted into high-speed serial signals at the sending end, pass through the transmission medium (optical cable or copper wire), and finally, the high-speed serial signals at the receiving end are re-converted into low-speed parallel signals. As an important underlying technology, SERDES is usually used as the physical (PHY) layer of some important protocols (such as PCIe, USB, Ethernet, etc.), and is widely used in high-speed interconnection in the fields of servers, automotive electronics, and communications.

Montage Technology stated that at this stage, memory interface chips are mainly used in server-related memory modules. In order to cope with the continuous improvement of the transmission rate, the memory modules that did not have high requirements for signal buffering may also increase the demand for corresponding buffer chips. The industry is discussing that in the mid-term of DDR5, it is planned to add a clock driver chip (CKD) to the UDIMM and SODIMM of PCs and notebook computers to buffer and re-drive the clock signal of the memory module, thereby improving the signal integrity of the clock signal. Reliability, currently JEDEC (Solid State Technology Association) is developing the corresponding product standards.

The current competitive landscape of DDR5 memory interface chips is similar to that of DDR4 memory interface chips. Only three suppliers in the world can provide first-generation mass-produced products, namely the company, Renesas Electronics, and Rambus. The company's market share in memory interface chips remains unchanged. Stabilize. In terms of supporting chips, the two main suppliers of SPD and TS are Montage and Renesas; PMIC has more competitors, and the competition will be more complicated in the early stage.

Qualitatively speaking from a theoretical point of view, if the entire data center industry is prosperous and drives the increase in server shipments, the shipments of the memory interface chip industry will also increase accordingly.

Combined with the price rules of DDR4 memory interface chips, in the life cycle of a certain product, the sales price will gradually decrease after the volume is increased; however, due to the upgrade of technology and performance, the starting sales price of the new product is higher than that of the previous product. improved. Therefore, in the case of continuous iteration, the average selling price of the product will remain stable and upward.

According to Montage Technology, in recent years, the high-speed data transmission protocol has been developed from PCIe 3.0 to PCIe 4.0, and the data rate has increased from 8GT/s to 16GT/s, and to PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 6.0, the data rate will be further increased to 32GT/s s, 64GT/s, the doubling of the data transmission speed brings prominent signal attenuation and reference clock timing realignment problems. The PCIe Retimer chip mainly solves the problems of uneven signal timing, large loss, and poor integrity of data center servers during high-speed and long-distance data transmission. Therefore, the industry expects that as the transmission rate continues to increase, the demand for PCIe Retimer chips will increase.

According to Montage Technology, in 2021, we will increase the related party transaction quota for 2021 to RMB 1.584 billion based on Jintide® CPU orders in hand, the potential needs of customers and the delivery cycle of the entire industry. The quota is also expected to increase to 2.5 billion yuan. This really shows that our Jintide® CPU has made remarkable progress in continuous market development, which has been recognized and accepted by more and more customers, and related orders have continued and have grown to a certain scale.

At the same time, the company has also reminded many times in relevant announcements, please do not simply equate the purchase amount of related transactions with the sales of Jintide®CPU. On the one hand, the forecast of purchase is based on the orders in hand and customer forecast , that is to predict based on demand and potential demand, there is uncertainty; on the other hand, all procurement is the premise and basis of sales, procurement, testing, and delivery have a certain time cycle, so there will be a lag effect on sales; , In the context of the current tight production capacity, the procurement and delivery cycle will become longer, which will also increase the uncertainty of Jintide® CPU sales and delivery. We continue to be optimistic about the subsequent development of Jintide® CPU business. The company will continue to promote market development and strive to gain more market shares.

It is understood that the gross profit margin of the Jintide® server platform product line in 2021 is 10.22%. For Jintide® CPU, because the market space is very large, the company's primary goal in the early stage of the product is to pursue high volume, enter the product into the market as soon as possible, strive for more market share, and gain more customer recognition. Due to the large value of the product, once the amount is increased, the absolute amount of gross profit will be considerable.

Regarding the main customers of Jintide® CPU, Montage Technology pointed out that the direct customers of the company's Jintide® CPU are mainly server OEM or ODM manufacturers, and it is the customer's arrangement which industry is ultimately used. Larger downstream applications include finance, transportation, government affairs, energy, data centers and other fields.

According to Montage Technology, in early 2019, led by Intel Corporation, a number of internationally renowned companies jointly launched the CXL (Compute Express Link) standard, which aims to provide high-efficiency, high-speed, and low-latency between CPUs, dedicated accelerators, and high-performance storage systems. interface to meet the needs of resource sharing, memory pooling and efficient operation scheduling. CXL technology can improve the data exchange efficiency of each module between systems, solve the problem of cache coherence, significantly improve the communication ability between multi-channel CPU, CPU and accelerator, reduce delay, and realize ultra-high-speed interaction between data center CPU and accelerator chip. connections, thereby improving the performance of data-intensive applications. Based on the development of CXL technology, there will be some new market opportunities. The company has accumulated certain technologies in related fields. Among them, the PCIe 5.0 Retimer chip being developed can realize PCIe / CXL dual-mode work according to system requirements. The company will pay close attention to the technological trends and opportunities at the forefront of the industry and deploy related products in a timely manner.

It is reported that the main wafer foundries of the company's products include TSMC and Fujitsu, and the process of different products may be different.

Starting from the second half of 2020, the company predicted in advance that the production capacity of the entire industry will be relatively tight in 2021, so it has made some plans in advance. Up to now, the production capacity of the company's main products is basically guaranteed, but it is still possible to be nervous about some products or models.

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