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Friday, August 04, 2006
 Toshiba and SanDisk Mark Construction Start of 300mm Wafer Fab for NAND Flash Memory at Yokkaichi Operations
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Message Text: Toshiba and SanDisk today announced that, further to definitive agreements that the companies entered into in July 2006, construction has started of Fab 4, a 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fab, in Yokkaichi, in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

The NAND flash memory is uses in a wide range of digital electronic applications, including MP3 music players, mobile phones and several kinds of memory cards. Toshiba and SanDisk started operation of a state-of-the-art 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fab, Fab 3, in summer 2005, at Yokkaichi Operations, and have boosted the facility's capacity to meet market demand. Today;s start of construction reflects the need for 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.

Investment in Fab 4 over the two years from April 2006 to March 2008 is expected to reach about 300 billion yen. Toshiba will fund construction of the building and Flash Alliance, Ltd., a new joint venture between Toshiba and SanDisk for Fab 4, will fund the fab's advanced manufacturing equipment. The production output from Fab 4 will be equally shared between Toshiba and SanDisk.



Fab 4 is expected to come on line in the fourth quarter (Oct-Dec) of 2007, with an initial capacity of 2,500 wafers a month. It is currently estimated that the capacity of 67,500 wafers a month will be reached by the fourth quarter of 2008. At the time of production start-up, Fab 4 is intended to employ cutting-edge 56-nanometer (nm) process technology and to subsequently migrate to finer geometries.

In order to limit impact on operations from natural disasters, Fab 4 will adopt the latest earthquake-absorbing structure that is expected to dampen quake force by almost two-thirds. It will also deploy superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) that is designed to be triggered instantaneously by any sudden, momentary loss of power supply, from a lightning strike for example, to prevent any impact on production.
 
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