February 25, 2008 Toshiba Corporation and SanDisk have announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding to form a new production joint venture and construct a new 300 millimeter (mm) wafer fabrication facility (fab), in Japan to meet the anticipated future demand for NAND flash memory. This latest announcement underscores the commitment of Toshiba and SanDisk to the rapidly expanding market for NAND Flash memory, which has become the storage technology of choice for a growing number of consumer and computing devices, including memory cards.
The two companies will now select the plant site, targeting a production start-up date in 2010 with fifty percent of the new fab’s production capacity to be allocated to the new joint venture and the remaining 50% of the fab’s production capacity to be managed by Toshiba and half of the output will be provided to SanDisk on a committed foundry basis. Within the joint venture the parties will equally share wafer output and funding for the equipment. The agreement provides SanDisk an option to convert its committed foundry capacity into the joint venture or to convert to a non-committed foundry arrangement. Construction of the new facility is expected to start in calendar year 2009. Toshiba and SanDisk expect to sign a definitive agreement later in 2008.