We had the opportunity of visiting Kingmax’s factory in Hsin Chu, Taiwan. This is a great opportunity for you to learn how memories are manufactured, since Kingmax manufactures both memory chips and memory modules.
We were excited because this was the first time we’ve seen a chip manufacturing facility from inside. On other memory manufacturing facilities we’ve been to so far from Kingston, Corsair, OCZ and PDP Systems they only manufactured memory modules, so the memory chips came to the factory already as a final product.
There are many steps involved in the memory module manufacturing:
- Wafer manufacturing
- Memory chip manufacturing
- PCB manufacturing
- Memory module manufacturing
In summary, Kingmax gets the wafer from their wafer vendor (which they don’t disclose), cuts and packs it as memory chips and put the chips together in a memory module, buying the printed circuit boards from Brain Power, a company specialized in PCB manufacturing and very well known among memory enthusiasts.
The memory chip manufacturing or “packing” as it is also called is done by a sister company called Kingpak. After being manufactured, the memory chips go still untested and unmarked (or UTT in the industry lingo) to Kingmax’s facilities (which are located in a different place) for testing and labeling. After that, memory modules are manufactured.
Kingpak factory also manufactures optical sensors for cameras, and both Kingpak and Kingmax also manufacture memory cards. We’ll concentrate our tour on describing how memory modules are manufactured.