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October 10, 1999

Toshiba and SanDisk in $660m Flash Memory JV

By CBR Staff Writer

Toshiba Corp and SanDisk Corp have announced a 70bn yen ($660m) joint venture to prepare for the production of large-capacity flash memory chips. The two plan to set up a 50:50 production joint venture by January and to spend the money over the next three years to jointly develop next-generation flash memory chips for use as memory cards in digital appliances.

By combining Toshiba’s advanced, high-density semiconductor process technology with the US company’s large-capacity flash technology, they will develop 512-megabit and 1-gigabit flash memory chips. They will also jointly develop a controller for the SD Memory Card, a flash memory card being promoted by the two firms and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

Although a final decision has not been taken, the new company will probably be located in the US and its name and other details will be decided by January, the company said. It will use Toshiba’s plants in Virginia in the US and Yokkaichi in Japan to supply the two companies with flash memory chips. The chips to be developed are NAND-type, according to a Toshiba official, who said his company expects the international market for this type of chip to expand to 220bn ($2.07bn) yen by next year from just 25bn ($236m) yen last year.

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