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Toshiba plans to cease NAND production

Posted: 18 Jun 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash-memory  300mm fabs  manufacturing venture  200mm wafer fab 

Japan's Toshiba Corp. is slightly scaling back on its NAND flash-memory production amid a downturn in the arena.

In doing so, the company plans to cease NAND production at FlashVision Ltd, a joint manufacturing venture between Toshiba and its NAND flash-memory production partner, SanDisk Corp. The venture manages part of NAND flash-memory fabrication on 200mm wafer lines.

Instead, Toshiba will mainly focus on its 300mm fabs for NAND production. Toshiba will buy out part of the production equipment owned by FlashVision and utilise it at its Yokkaichi Operations, or other Toshiba sites. FlashVision will sell the remaining equipment to third parties.

A smaller 200mm wafer fab operation, with approximately 60 per cent of current capacity, will continue to produce flash memories for multi-chip packages.

"We are determined to remain a world leader in the NAND flash memory business," said Shozo Saito, corporate senior vice president of Toshiba and president and CEO of Toshiba's Semiconductor Co., in a statement.

"By constant upward transitions, and reassigning production, we will continue to improve our costs,'' he said. ''Utilising 200mm wafer equipment in other facilities also contributes to improved production efficiency for our overall semiconductor business."

Toshiba intends to strengthen cost competitiveness and meet market needs by combining continued proactive capital investments in expansion of production capacity at 300mm wafer lines.

SanDisk had a 49.9 per cent ownership interest in FlashVision, a business venture with Toshiba, which owned 50.1 per cent. The 200mm venture was formed in fiscal year 2000.

SanDisk has a 49.9 per cent ownership interest in Flash Partners Ltd, a business venture with Toshiba which owns 50.1 per cent. Formed in fiscal year 2004, the 300mm fab continues to produce NAND.

SanDisk has a 49.9 per cent ownership interest in Flash Alliance Ltd., a business venture with Toshiba which owns 50.1 per cent. Formed in fiscal year 2006, the 300mm fab continues to produce NAND.

Earlier this year, Toshiba and SanDisk signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding on one of the new fabs, targeting a production start-up date in 2010, and a related production joint venture. Details of the fab, including site location, will be finalised as planning progresses.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times





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