Toshiba Corp. and storage maker Western Digital Corp. (WDC) have opened a new semiconductor fab dedicated to the manufacturing of next-generation NAND flash memory.
The fab, located in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, Japan, will support the conversion of the companies’ 2-D NAND capacity to 3-D flash memory used in smartphones, solid state drives and other applications. The companies say the fab will allow for higher densities from the flash memory as well as better device performance.
The fab began construction in September of 2014 when Toshiba and SanDisk formed an agreement for the mass production of 3-D flash memory. In May, Western Digital completed its acquisition of SanDisk with this fab, and having access to a high-volume supply of flash memory was one of the key aspects of the deal. The first phase of production at the facility began in March.
Toshiba and WDC plan to invest to expand the fab capacity over time and dependent upon market conditions. The Yokkaichi fab includes a site-wide integrated production system—which uses big data to analyze more than 1.6 billion data points each day—and will be used to improve the efficiency and quality of the 3-D NAND flash memory.
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