San Jose, CA—Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corp. finalized a formal agreement to jointly invest in the K1 flash manufacturing facility Toshiba Memory is constructing in Kitakami, Japan.
“The agreement to jointly invest in the K1 facility marks the continuation of our highly successful collaboration with Toshiba Memory. It has fostered growth and innovation of NAND flash technology for two decades,” said Steve Milligan, CEO, Western Digital. “Western Digital’s long-term investment strategy for the Kitakami site reflects our ongoing commitment to drive flash technology development; as well as manufacturing along with Toshiba Memory. This expansion positions us well to provide the industry’s most competitive flash supply to meet long-term demand trends driven by the growing volume, velocity, variety and value of data.”
K1 Flash Manufacturing Facility Details
The K1 facility will produce 3D flash memory to support a growing 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 calendar 2019. Moreover, the joint capital investments in equipment for the K1 facility will enable initial production output of 96-layer 3D flash memory in 2020. In addition, meaningful output will begin later in the year.
The companies also announced they will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in their respective memory businesses. They will actively develop initiatives aimed at strengthening technology competitiveness; advancing joint development of 3D flash memory; and also making capital investments according to market trends. “We are determined to demonstrate Toshiba Memory’s leadership in the market. This includes collaborating with Western Digital to actively execute initiatives that will strengthen our mutual competitiveness,” said Yasuo Naruke, president and CEO of Toshiba Memory. “We look forward to jointly developing 3D flash memory and carrying out investments tailored to promising market opportunities.”
In April 2017, Toshiba Memory spun off from Toshiba Corporation, which invented NAND flash memory in 1987. The company’s 3D flash memory technology, BiCS FLASH, offers storage in high-density applications. These applications include advanced smartphones, PCs, SSDs, automotive and also data centers.
Western Digital’s missions is to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. The Western Digital, G-Technology, SanDisk and WD brands comprise the company’s data-centric solutions.