Corsair has recently moved to a new location in Fremont, California, and we had the chance of visiting their new facilities and compare it to their old factory we had the chance to visit in the beginning of this year. They are now in a bigger building, with one more production line (six lines, previously they had five lines), a new memory chip testing and sorting machine, more memory module testing stations and much more space for inventory, packing and shipping.
The memory module manufacturer can buy the memory chips as a final product from a memory manufacturer like Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, etc; can buy them untested (a.k.a. UTT chips) and test (usually for speed grade) and sort them in-house; or can buy the memory wafer, cut the wafer and pack the integrated circuits by themselves.
Corsair is both in the first option (during our tour we’ve seen a lot of Infineon and Nanya chips being used) and second option, since now they have the testing and sorting machinery. This machine is usually used for sorting memory chips for high-performance memory modules, where they usually work overclocked.
As we have already mentioned in other articles covering memory module manufacturing, the memory module manufacturing process is quite the same for all memory module manufacturers:
- Apply solder paste to the memory PCB.
- Put the components on the PCB using a technique called SMT, Surface Mount Technology. This process is also known as pick-and-place.
- Send the modules inside an oven, where the solder paste will melt, thus soldering the components.
- Visual inspection.
- Remove the memory modules from their panels (before this process the memory modules are stuck together in a panel, each panel holds five or six memory modules), a process also known as depanelization.
- SPD programming and quick manual testing (SPD, Serial Presence Detect, is a small EEPROM chip located on the memory module that stores the memory module parameters, such as timings).
- Memory module testing.
- Functional testing.
- Heatsink is attached to the module (if applicable).
- Shipping to customers.