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Toshiba shuts down 200mm NAND JV

Posted: 18 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:200mm NAND? flash memory? wafer? data storage?

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. Located at its Yokkaichi Operations in Japan, 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 utilize 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 percent of current capacity, will continue to produce flash memories for multichip packages.

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

"By constant upward transitions, and reassigning production, we will continue to improve our costs," he added. "Utilizing 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 percent ownership interest in FlashVision, a business venture with Toshiba, which owned 50.1 percent. The 200mm venture was formed in fiscal year 2000.

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

SanDisk has a 49.9 percent ownership interest in Flash Alliance, while Toshiba owns 50.1 percent. Formed in fiscal year 2006, its 300mm fab also continues to produce NAND.

Early this year, Toshiba and SanDisk signed a nonbinding 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 announced later as planning progresses.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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