In an effort to seize the No 1 NAND flash maker Samsung Electronics, Toshiba today announced that it would construct a new fabrication facility (fab) on a site next to Yokkaichi Operations, its memory production facility in Mie Prefecture.
Construction of the new fab, Fab 5, will start in July this year, Toshiba said.
Yokkaichi Operations currently has four NAND flash memory fabs. As demand for NAND memory begins to recover with the market penetration of smartphones and other new applications, and foreseeing further market expansion in the medium- and long-term, Toshiba recognizes that the time is right to construct a new fab.
By adding new production capacity, Toshiba expects to be able to respond quickly to market expansion in an effort to further strengthen its competitiveness in the semiconductor business.
The Fab 5's construction is expected to be completed in spring 2011. The scale of Fab 5 will be comparable with that of Fab 4, which is now in operation. The new fab will have a quake-absorbing structure, and be designed for minimal environmental impact. Energy-saving clean rooms and effective use of waste heat are expected to cut CO2 emissions to a level 12% lower than from Fab 4, Toshiba said.
Toshiba's share of global NAND flash revenues trailed closely behind Samsung's at the end of 2009, with both exceeding the 30% mark.
According to estimations, Toshiba's monthly production at its existing 12-inch NAND flash fabs - Fab 3 and Fab 4 - reached 150,000 and 110,000 wafers, respectively, in the first quarter of 2010. With SanDisk's capacity, the flash alliance could roll out 360,000 wafers a month.