Toshiba goes it alone on 3D NAND investment

August 06, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Struggling Toshiba Corp. is committing to spend $1.75 billion to expand 3D-NAND flash memory production at its Yokkaichi campus and is going to go ahead without erstwhile investment partner and lead customer Western Digital Corp.

Toshiba is in the process of selling off its semiconductor business to bolster its finances, but nonetheless has announced that its recently formed subsidiary Toshiba Memory Corp. (TMC) will unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at Yokkaichi.

Toshiba has previously made investments in NAND flash production and more recently in 3D-NAND flash production alongside SanDisk Corp. both as an independent company and after its acquisition by Western Digital Corp. Western Digital has objected to Toshiba's movement of semiconductor operations into TMC and the tendering of the company for sale claiming that such moves were not allowed without consulting Western Digital under the terms of joint venture agreements it had with Toshiba.

Toshiba said it had been negotiating with San Disk on a joint investment in the manufacturing equipment but failed to reach agreement. As a result TMC will move ahead on its own with an investment into Phase-1 of Fab 6 that will equip the clean room to handle TMC’s next-generation 96-layer BiCS flash memory components.

TMC will invest approximately 195 billion yen (about $1.75 billion) in Fab 6 in FY2017, covering the installation of manufacturing equipment for 96-layer  BiCS flash and the construction of Phase-2.

TMC calculates that proceeding unilaterally with the installation of manufacturing equipment in Fab 6 will require it to increase its funding by 15 billion yen (about $135 million) against its initial estimate. Installation is expected to begin in December, 2017 or later.

Related links and articles:

www.toshiba.co.jp

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