|Toshiba and Western Digital Open New Fab 2 Semiconductor Fabrication Facility in Japan|
Toshiba Corporation and Western Digital Corporation
Yokkaichi, Japan and Irvine, Calif.
Joint Ptress Release
July 15, 2016
Toshiba Corporation and Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today celebrated the opening of the New Fab 2 semiconductor fabrication facility located in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Expanded use of flash memory in smartphones, SSDs, and other applications is driving continued growth of the global flash memory market. The New Fab 2 facility will support the conversion of the companies' 2D NAND capacity to 3D flash memory, allowing realization of solutions offering higher densities and better device performance.
Construction of New Fab 2 began in September 2014. Following partial completion of the facility in October 2015, Toshiba and SanDisk (acquired in May 2016 by Western Digital Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation) worked together to implement leading-edge manufacturing capabilities for mass production of 3D flash memory, and first-phase production started in March of this year. The parties intend to further invest to expand production capacity over time, depending on market conditions.
In addition, Yokkaichi operations will leverage the site-wide integrated production system, which employs big data processing to analyze over 1.6 billion data points each day, to further improve manufacturing efficiency and the quality of 3D flash memory.
The parties are committed to working together to enhance the value they offer to customers and to continue innovation as market leaders.
Satoshi Tsunakawa, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation, said, "Advanced technologies underline our commitment to respond to continued demand as an innovator in flash memory. We are enhancing manufacturing efficiency and the quality of our world-class facility. Building on that, we also plan investments of as much as 860 billion yen by FY2018, in line with the market situation. Our commitment is firm, and we are confident that our joint venture with Western Digital will produce cost competitive next generation memories at Yokkaichi."
Steve Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of Western Digital, said, "As a leader in non-volatile memory products and solutions, we are excited to be entering the 3D NAND era with our partner Toshiba. The New Fab 2 enables us to begin the conversion of our existing 2D NAND capacity to 3D NAND and continues our long-standing presence in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, and Japan."
Overview of the New Fab 2
Structure of building: 2-Story steel frame concrete, five floors
Building area: Approximately 27,600m2
Start of construction: September 2014
Building completion: July 2016
About Toshiba: Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into three focus business fields: Energy that sustains everyday life, that is cleaner and safer; Infrastructure that sustains quality of life; and Storage that sustains the advanced information society. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, "Committed to People, Committed to the Future", Toshiba promotes global operations and is contributing to the realization of a world where generations to come can live better lives. Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today's Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of 550 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion). (As of March 31, 2016.) Visit: www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm
About Western Digital: Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers. For more information, please visit www.hgst.com, www.wd.com and www.sandisk.com ###
Background on the WD/Toshiba JV
>> [July 04, 2016 | Nikkei] Toshiba snd U.S. partner Western Digital (WD) will commit $14.6 billion over three years toward stepping up flash memory production at their jointly run Japanese plant, in a bid to widen global market share. Western Digital inherited the operational tie-up at the Yokkaichi plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan when the theyr took over American rival SanDisk in May. The site in central Japan will receive a new fabrication facility, with new equipment to be installed in the existing production space. ... The plan is to boost 3-D memory production, with such chips accounting for 50% of the segment in fiscal 2017 and exceeding 80% in fiscal 2018. <<
>> Toshiba likely to bless a SanDisk-Western Digital deal (analysts)
Devika Krishna Kumar and Natalie Grover
October 14, 2015
Toshiba, SanDisk's partner in making memory chips, is more likely to sign off on a potential takeover of SanDisk by hard drive maker Western Digital than by rival memory chip maker Micron, analysts said. Micron Technology Inc and Western Digital Corp are in talks with SanDisk Corp about a possible acquisition, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The report came after months of intense speculation about imminent consolidation in the memory chip industry as a supply glut and cheaper products from China continue to drive down prices.
SanDisk will require Toshiba's approval to consummate a deal with either party. SanDisk uses Toshiba's foundries to make its chips and the two companies have an important intellectual property-sharing joint venture.
If Micron, which has its own foundries, buys SanDisk, Toshiba is likely to lose a lot of business. Moreover, Micron has a growing presence in the NAND-flash memory chips market and a tie up with SanDisk will immensely increase competition for the Japanese tech leader.
NAND-flash memory chips power solid-state drives, which are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, Western Digital' mainstay. SSDs are used in cloud computing, data centers, smartphones and laptops. "From Micron's perspective ... you could take out two competitors at once," Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri said. "If you can extricate SanDisk from the Toshiba JV, then you've taken Toshiba out of the NAND business and you've taken out SanDisk as well ... this would really catapult you to number 2. status behind Samsung." ... <Snip Rest> <<
# # #
- Eric L -