Toshiba send out word it has approved the purchase of the manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room under construction at Yokkaichi Operations. Toshiba Memory will invest 110 billion yen ($0.98 billion) for the additional manufacturing equipment.
The move may anger joint-venture partner SanDisk, which is owned by Western Digital, as both companies are in a dispute about the future of Toshiba's memory business. Toshiba Memory indicates it recently asked SanDisk about whether it intends to jointly participate in this investment but the Toshiba Memory did not share the results of that talk.
Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced that its board of directors has approved a further investment by Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary that manufactures Flash memory, in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room under construction at Yokkaichi Operations. TMC will invest approximately 110 billion yen as a second investment in Fab 6 for the installation of additional manufacturing equipment in the Phase-1 clean room.
Production at Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to BiCS FLASH™, Toshiba's innovative 3D Flash memory. As Toshiba announced in its August 3, 2017 release “Update on Toshiba Memory Corporation’s Investment in Production Equipment for Fab 6 at Yokkaichi Operations”, TMC has previously invested approximately 195 billion yen in Fab 6 as its first investment covering the installation of manufacturing equipment in the Phase-1 clean room and the construction of the Phase-2 clean room.
Demand for TMC’s next generation 3D Flash memory devices is expected to increase significantly due to growing demand for enterprise SSDs in datacenters, SSDs for PCs, and memory for smartphones; TMC expects this strong market growth to continue in 2018. TMC’s investment timing will position it to capture this growth and expand its business.
The investment in Fab 6 will enable TMC to install manufacturing equipment for 96-layer 3D Flash memories, including deposition and etching equipment.
There is no change in the FY2017 Financial Forecast announced on Aug 10, 2017, as the impact of the additional investment will be realized after FY2018. However, the FY2017 investment plan for Toshiba Corporation Storage & Devices Solutions Segment will be revised from 330 billion yen, as announced on August 10, to 400 billion yen by accelerating a part of the investment previously planned for FY2018. This will be used with the remaining 40 billion yen in the FY2017 investment plan, bringing this second investment to 110 billion yen. As announced on March 17, 2016 announcement “Notice of Construction of New Semiconductor Fabrication Facility,” Toshiba decided on a construction and equipment investment plan for the new fabrication facility, with an estimated cost of approximately 360 billion yen from FY2016 to FY2018. The company will update its investments plans to reflect any subsequent changes.
TMC has recently asked SanDisk, its collaborator in three joint ventures for investment in manufacturing equipment at TMC’s Yokkaichi Operations, whether it intends to jointly participate in this second investment for the Phase-1 clean room in the Fab 6 facility.