Toshiba to boost flash memory output 150%

August 23, 2005 – Toshiba Corp. intends to raise its flash memory output to 150,000 units in terms of 300mm wafers in fiscal 2007, up 150% from the level to be reached next month, company sources said, according to Asia Pulse.

To this end, the company will likely raise its capital outlays by about 200 billion yen (US$1.8 billion), in addition to the already budgeted sum of 270 billion yen to be shelled out by the end of fiscal 2006 by Toshiba and its US partner Sundisk Corp.

Toshiba will increase production of NAND flash memories used in cell phones and portable music players at its Mie Prefecture plant, which is run jointly with Sundisk to make 300mm wafers.

The facility began mass production this July at 2500 units/month, which will be raised to 10,000 next month. Its output, plus that of another facility making 200mm wafers, will raise the combined production to 150,000 units.

About 500 flash memories can be made out of a 300mm wafer. Toshiba is raising the number of memories that can be made out of a single wafer, with a view to slashing production costs at a pace of 35-40%/year.

The company is also reducing circuit width to 70nm from the current 90nm and aims to lower the figure further to 55nm by summer 2006, the narrowest in the world. Devices with 55nm circuit width are projected to account for one-third of total flash memories by the end of fiscal 2006.

Toshiba saw an operating loss of 1.8 billion yen in the April-June quarter, due in part to the poor performance of its LCD division, but its semiconductor business generated a profit of 14.8 billion yen.


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