Toshiba and SanDisk today celebrated with a traditional ceremony and reception the opening of Fab 4, the latest 300mm wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations, in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
NAND flash memory is used in a wide range of digital applications, including digital media players, mobile phones, PCs and memory cards.
Toshiba started construction of Fab 4 in August 2006. Fab 4 is expected to start mass production in December 2007 and reach a production capacity of 80,000 wafers a month in the second half of CY2008. The fab still has space to expand capacity, and further investment could take output to 210,000 wafers per month, in response to the projected increase in future market demand. Fab 4 will employ 56-nanometer (nm) process technology at start-up, and plans call for a gradual transition to 43 nm technology, starting from March 2008.
"Toshiba and our partner SanDisk are delighted to celebrate the construction of this new facility," said Mr. Shozo Saito, Corporate Senior Vice President of Toshiba Corporation and President & CEO of Toshiba's Semiconductor Company. "Fab 4 will feature world-class manufacturing capabilities, both in scale and productivity. It will support us in reinforcing our leadership in the fast growing global market for higher density NAND flash memories, and provide a powerful engine of growth for both companies."
Dr. Eli Harari, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of SanDisk Corporation, said, "Fab 4 is testimony to the success of the great partnership and long-term commitment between Toshiba and SanDisk. The enormous size and technology scope of Fab 4 reflect our confidence and optimism for the future, and we believe will enable us to competitively meet the growing demand for flash storage from our global customers in the years ahead."
Fab 4 is designed to minimize any impact on operations from natural disasters. The building was constructed using the latest earthquake-absorbing structure, which is designed to dampen temblor force by up to two-thirds, and deploys multiple power compensation (MPC) that is triggered instantaneously by any sudden, momentary loss of power supply, from a lightning strike, for example.
Toshiba funded construction of the Fab 4 building, and Flash Alliance, Ltd., a Toshiba-SanDisk venture established in July 2006, 50.1% owned by Toshiba and 49.9% by SanDisk, is funding the advanced manufacturing equipment now being installed in the fab.