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Toshiba, SanDisk expand 300mm NAND fab plan

Posted: 16 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:toshiba? memory? nand? sandisk?

Toshiba Corp. said it expects the final capacity of its planned 300mm NAND memory fab to be about 37,500 wafers a month, 1.5 times larger than the original plan announced in last December.

Toshiba revised the fab plan to coincide with a ground-breaking ceremony on April 13 of the new Fab 3 at its Yokkaichi operations.

The new fab will serve as the production base of NAND Flash memory for the joint venture of Toshiba and its partner SanDisk Corp. The expanded monthly capacity month is scheduled to be reached by fiscal 2006, ending in March 2007. Fab 3 will have additional space to add an additional 25,000 wafers a month.

Total investment will amount ?270 billion (about $2.5 billion) for Fab 3. Strong demand for NAND Flash memory encouraged the memory partners to expand their original capacity plan by 50 percent. The fab expansion will take four years to complete. Total investment was also expanded by ?70 billion (about $654 million) to ?200 billion (about $1.87 billion).

Toshiba will bear construction costs, which is estimated to be ?70 billion (about $654 million). Production equipments will cost an estimated ?200 billion (about $1.87 billion). The partners will share these costs.

Toshiba and SanDisk formed a joint venture manufacturing company named FlashVision Japan in 2000. The two companies will evenly divide the output from FlashVision. The new 300mm line will operate on the same scheme.

The 300mm fab is scheduled to begin operations as early as October 2005 with a startup capacity of 10,000 wafers a month.

They had originally planned to use a 70nm process on the 300mm line when the construction plan was announced last Decmber. They eventually decided to begin with a 90nm process. "We are going to introduce the 70nm process to the existing 200mm wafer line first in the first half of fiscal 2005 [April to September], then [move] to the new 300mm wafer line one year later, then a 55nm process in 2007," said a Toshiba spokesman.

Toshiba expects demand for NAND Flash memory to grow at a 30 percent pace annually over the next three years. Strong demand here pushed Toshiba into second place in industry rankings behind only Samsung Electronics last year, according to industry watchers iSuppli. It has expanded its market share from for 10.7 percent in 2002 to 16.4 percent in 2003, while Samsung increased its share last year from 15.4 to 19.4 percent in 2003.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times





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