| Toshiba And SanDisk To Expand NAND Flash Memory ProductionWith
Construction Of New Advanced Fabrication Facility At Yokkaichi Operations|
5 April, 2006
SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 4, and TOKYO, APRIL 5, 2006--Toshiba Corporation and SanDisk® Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today announced that they have agreed to build a new 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations to meet fast growing demand for NAND flash memory. The announcement underlines NAND flash memory's position as the storage technology of choice for mobile products and digital consumer devices, including MP3 music players and memory cards for mobile phones, and Toshiba and SanDisk's determination to retain a leading position in this fast expanding market.
The companies plan to start construction of the new facility in August 2006, with initial production operations scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2007. Toshiba will fund construction of the building, while both Toshiba and SanDisk will provide funds for the manufacturing equipment. Fab 4 will be similar in size to the Fab 3 300-mm wafer facility now in operation at Yokkaichi.
The two companies started operation of a state-of-the-art 300-mm wafer fab, Fab 3, in summer 2005, at Yokkaichi Operations, and have proactively boosted the facility's capacity to meet market demand. Today's announcement reflects the companies' recognition of the need for construction of a new facility, in parallel with expansion of Fab 3, in order to meet anticipated demand for NAND flash memory products in 2008 and beyond.
Commenting on the new facility, Mr. Masashi Muromachi, Corporate Senior Vice President of Toshiba Corporation and President & CEO of Toshiba's Semiconductor Company, said, "The NAND flash memory market is enjoying rapid growth, to which Toshiba has responded by expanding production capacity. We will maintain leadership in the market through continued proactive capital investments in production capacity and advanced process technology and multi-level cell technology. Fab 4 will further secure our ability to respond to demand for higher-density NAND flash in this rapidly growing market."
Dr. Eli Harari, President and Chief Executive Officer of SanDisk, said, "This announcement is a bold step by SanDisk and Toshiba. For SanDisk, this demonstrates our optimism in the continuing growth in demand for our products in consumer electronics and handsets in the years ahead, as well as our confidence in the continuing future competitiveness of the Toshiba-SanDisk partnership. We believe the Yokkaichi Fab 3 which is rapidly ramping, together with the new Fab 4 will have a highly competitive cost structure. The resulting output will create a formidable supply base that is expected to significantly grow our product revenues from new markets and new geographies in the second half of this decade."
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