Toshiba Cans HD DVD, Backs NAND Flash With SanDisk

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Following the end of its HD DVD businesses, Toshiba is now going after the storage market, announcing a joint venture with SanDisk to manufacture NAND flash memory.

The two companies aim to capitalise on the rapidly expanding market for NAND flash memory, which has become the storage technology of choice for a growing number of consumer and computing devices, including memory cards.

Toshiba will create two new fabrication facilities in Japan, one of which will be allocated to the new NAND joint venture and the other for Toshiba’s semi-conductor business. Within the joint venture the parties will equally share wafer output and funding for the equipment. The remaining 50 percent of the fab’s production capacity will be managed by Toshiba and half of the output will be provided to SanDisk on a committed foundry basis. Construction of the new facility is expected to start in calendar year 2009.

Toshiba’s Corporate Senior Vice President and President and CEO of Toshiba’s Semiconductor Company, Shozo Saito said, “NAND flash memory is enjoying rapid growth and is expected to expand with new applications in coming years. Toshiba is committed to support such growth of NAND flash memory through continued proactive capital investments in production capacity and advanced process technology. The new fab will build on the strong record of success we have achieved with SanDisk in flash memory product development and production, and further strengthen our partnership.”

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SanDisk, Eli Harari said, “We are very pleased with the financing structure in the new agreement which maintains our guaranteed 50% of the capacity output while reducing substantially our capital expenditure commitments for funding the new fab NAND manufacturing equipment. We believe this will allow us to meet our forecasted customer needs in 2010 and beyond, while freeing up cash flow for investments in new products and in growth markets. This substantial undertaking by Toshiba and SanDisk demonstrates our confidence in the continued future success of the strong partnership between our two companies.”

Toshiba and SanDisk expect to sign a definitive agreement later this year.

See: www.toshiba.com.au

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