Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo: 6502) and SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today celebrated the opening of the second phase of the No. 5 semiconductor fabrication facility (Fab 5) and the start of construction of the new No. 2 fabrication facility (Fab 2) at Yokkaichi Operations, Toshiba's NAND Flash memory plant in Mie prefecture, Japan.
Toshiba started construction of the second phase of Fab 5 in August 2013, and Toshiba and SanDisk have overseen installation of production equipment in the expanded facility since July this year. Production in phase 2 began at the start of this month, with 15nm NAND flash memory process technology, the world's smallest and most advanced node. Toshiba and SanDisk announced deployment of this jointly developed 15nm NAND flash process in April this year, with initial production in part of Fab 5 phase 1, and now target conversion of the remaining capacity in phase 1 to the new process technology.
Toshiba is constructing the New Fab 2 to secure space to convert Toshiba and SanDisk's current 2D NAND capacity to 3D NAND, with expected readiness for production in 2016. Toshiba and SanDisk will together install production equipment and will determine installed capacity and output targets and schedules by closely monitoring market trends.
Yasuo Naruke, Corporate Executive Vice President of Toshiba Corporation and President and CEO of Semiconductor & Storage Products Company, said, "Our determination to develop advanced technologies underlines our commitment to respond to continued demand of NAND flash memory. We are confident that our joint venture with SanDisk will allow us to produce cost competitive next generation memories at Yokkaichi."
Sanjay Mehrotra, President and Chief Executive Officer of SanDisk, said, "We are delighted to further advance the SanDisk/Toshiba collaboration as well as to continue both companies' more than decade- long partnership with the city of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, and Japan. Fab 5 Phase 2 and the future New Fab 2 will provide both companies with the cleanroom space needed to continue converting our installed NAND capacity to new advanced technology nodes."
Toshiba and SanDisk see long-term demand growth for NAND flash memory, particularly for smartphones, tablets and SSDs. The companies will continue to strengthen their competitiveness and market leadership through development and production of advanced flash memory technologies.
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