Toshiba builds new BiCS 3D NAND flash memory fab together with Western Digital

Toshiba today announced it will start the construction of a new fab for its BiCS 3D NAND flash memory in February 2017. The new state-of-the-art fabrication facility will be build at Yokkaichi Operations in Mie, Japan.

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Construction will take place in 2 phases with the first phase planned to be completed in summer 2018. Toshiba also plans to construct a new building adjacent to the new fab, the Memory Research and Development center. Currently Toshiba’s research and development activities are carried out in different locations, in the new center they will all be brought together.

“Decisions on the new fab’s overall capacity and equipment investment, the start of production, production capacity and production plan will reflect market trends,” Toshiba writes in the press release announcing the new fab.

The fab is build part of the Flash-Vision joint venture, which was previously owned by Toshiba and Sandisk. The latter is now part of Western Digital and Toshiba expects to continue its joint investments in and operations of the flash joint venture in the new facility with Sandisk’s new parent company.

In Japan there’s always the risk of earthquakes and this fab will be build on a quake absorbing structure. Toshiba also boasts that the fab will have an environmentally friendly design with LED lighting throughout the building, plus the latest energy saving manufacturing equipment.

Productivity should be boosted with an advanced production system that makes use of artificial intelligence.

It will also introduce an advanced production system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to boost productivity.

In March this year Toshiba first announced the plans of the new BiCS 3D NAND flash memory fab. The company needs to keep up with its competitors Intel/Micron and Samsung that also produce their own 3D NAND variants.