Super Talent Factory Tour in San Jose, CA, USA

Intro

Super Talent is a spin off of MA Labs distributor. In the past, MA Labs manufactured “generic” memory modules to be sold through their distribution channels, but two years ago they decided to separate their memory manufacturing operation into a new company, Super Talent. Super Talent manufactures both memory modules (including some very high-end models, by the way) and USB flash drives. We visited their manufacturing facility and bring you a tour to their factory.

We were quite impressed, since they have 10 SMT manufacturing lines. Just to give you an idea, Corsair manufacturing plant in Fremont has six lines while Patriot’s has five.

Before going further, let’s explain briefly how a memory module is manufactured.

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.

Super Talent falls in the first option, and we’ve seen a lot of Samsung chips there.

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).

  • Labeling.

  • Packing.

  • Shipping to customers.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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