June 16, 2008 – Toshiba and SanDisk say they are ramping down flash memory output on 200mm wafers to about 60% of current capacity, a move that includes ending production at their NAND JV FlashVision Ltd. As part of the plan, Toshiba will buy out part of the production equipment to use at its Yokkaichi site in Japan’s western Mie Prefecture, with the rest sold off to third-parties.
Work will continue to produce flash memory for multichip packages, seen as still a high-growth sector, the company said in a statement. Overall, investments will continue to focus on expanding 300mm production capacity beyond the decommissioned 200mm lines, and pushing more advanced memory and process technologies. (Toshiba and SanDisk already work together in a more advanced JV for flash memories on 300mm wafers, dubbed “Flash Alliance,” which is projected to be one of the few major capex spenders in 2008.)
“By constant upward transitions, and reassigning production, we will continue to improve our costs,” stated Shozo Saito, SVP of Toshiba Corp. and president/CEO of Toshiba’s semiconductor company. He added that utilizing the 200mm wafer equipment in other facilities also helps improve the company’s overall production efficiency.