April 5, 2006 – After months of speculation, Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk have announced plans to build another 300mm wafer fab at Toshiba’s operations in Yokkaichi, Japan, to produce NAND flash memory starting in 4Q07. Toshiba will fund construction of the facility, scheduled to start in August 2006, with both companies investing in equipment.
The new site, Fab 4, will be similar in size to the companies’ Fab 3 300mm fab at Yokkaichi, which opened last summer and is projected to reach production output of nearly 49,000 wafers/month by 2H06 — a 22% increase and several months sooner than initial targets. Toshiba has hiked its capital spending budget several times in recent months, in part to fund expansion at Fab 3 and the rumored new facility.
Together, the two facilities are expected to meet anticipated demand for NAND flash memory products in 2008 and beyond, the companies said.
“We believe the Yokkaichi Fab 3 which is rapidly ramping, together with the new Fab 4 will have a highly competitive cost structure,” stated Eli Harari, SanDisk president and CEO. “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.”