Toshiba says to operate new chip plant with SanDisk

Toshiba says to operate new chip plant with SanDisk

Yokkaichi: Toshiba Corp, Japan’s biggest chipmaker, said on Wednesday it would form a new partnership with SanDisk Corp to operate its latest NAND flash memory plant in Yokkaichi, western Japan.

SanDisk, the world’s top maker of flash memory cards, is a production partner at Toshiba’s existing plants. It said it would provide half of the investment cost for production equipment and would take half the output.

Toshiba, the world’s second-biggest NAND chip maker after Samsung Electronics, said construction of the new plant, called Fab 5, would be completed in early 2011 and the initial manufacturing process would use 20-29 nanometre circuitry.

A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre. Smaller circuitry allows chipmakers to pack more power onto smaller chips and lower per-chip costs.

With the new plant, Toshiba and SanDisk aim to boost their competitiveness when they see strong demand for NAND flash memories that are used in devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.