Toshiba has announced that it will invest $1.76 billion in a new memory chip production line.
However, the investment does not include the company’s venture partner Western Digital, which prior to the announcement revealed its plans to take on a joint investment.
Toshiba has apparently opted to ignore this and will go ahead with the investment in the Fab 6 production line for its clean room which is at Yokkaichi Operations.
According to Toshiba, the $1.76 billion investment will go towards phase one of Fab 6 to enable the clean room to handle Toshiba’s next generation 96-layer BiCS FLASH memory. This will also cover both the installation of the production line, as well as the construction of phase two.
Toshiba claims that the demand for its BiCS memory devices is expected to increase based on the increase in demand for enterprise SSDs in data centres, SSDs for PCs and also memory for smartphones. The company expects the growth to continue through till 2018.
In a statement, Western Digital said: “While we are disappointed by Toshiba’s announcement, the agreements governing the JVs give us the right to participate in investments in Fab 6 equipment along with Toshiba and that is exactly what we intend to do.”
Both companies have had a long running battle, which escalated in June following Western Digital’s concern over the sale of Toshiba’s NAND chip technology. As the battle continued to escalate, Toshiba stopped Western Digital employees’ access to databases at the memory chip joint venture.
Despite this, Toshiba has since said that it will reopen its database access to Western Digital and in an interview with Reuters, a spokesman from Toshiba said that it is still open to talks for future plans with the venture partner despite its latest decision to invest alone.
The new chip line is expected to begin operating in summer 2018, with installation beginning in December 2017.