Toshiba and Western Digital to invest in 3D flash memory manufacturing

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital announced their agreement to invest in the K1 manufacturing facility that Toshiba Memory is currently constructing in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Flash Manufacturing Facility in Kitakami, Japan
The K1 facility will produce 3D flash memory to support demand for storage in applications such as data centers, smartphones and autonomous cars. Construction of the K1 facility is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.

The companies’ joint capital investments in the equipment for the K1 facility will enable initial production output of 96-layer 3D flash memory beginning in calendar 2020, with more output expected to begin later in the year.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will extend their leadership in their memory businesses by developing initiatives aimed at strengthening technology, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments.

Yasuo Naruke, CEO of Toshiba Memory and Steve Milligan, chief executive officer of Western Digital were instrumental in finalizing the agreement.

Toshiba Memory is the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND flash memory chips. Toshiba Memory is planning to go public as soon as the autumn of 2019, Reuters reported.

Toshiba sold Toshiba Memory in June to a consortium led by Bain Capital, which also included Apple, South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, Dell Technologies and Seagate Technology.

The sale of the chip unit helped save Toshiba Corp from years of financial crisis brought about by accounting scandals and billions of dollars in cost-overruns at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Data storage device maker Western Digital reported 20.7 percent fall in quarterly revenue to $4.23 billion from $5.34 billion. The company’s loss narrowed to $487 million, or $1.68 per share, in the second quarter ended Dec. 28, from $823 million, or $2.78 per share, a year earlier.