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
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