Toshiba Corp. has reportedly decided to expand its Fab 5 manufacturing facility at Yokkaichi Operations, the company's NAND flash memory production facilities in Mie Prefecture, Japan. The move will help to boost output of NAND flash memory and will be a part of Toshiba's plan to become the world's largest supplier of NAND.
The expansion of Fab 5 will start operations in 2013, according to Reuters news-agency that cites Nikkan Kogyo news-paper. The construction work will begin this summer, therefore actual products will start to be made around the mid-2013. The amount of investments into the new factory as well as its expected manufacturing capacities are unknown at this point and Toshiba has not commented on the plan.
Toshiba's Fab 5 is a five-floor building with 187 thousand square meters of the total floor space. Fab 5 started volume production of NAND flash in July, 2011, using 24nm process technology. The fab is believed to be in process of transitioning to 19nm manufacturing process at the moment.
Fab 5 incorporates advanced earthquake-absorbing structures and integrates multiple power compensation techniques for protection against unexpected disruptions. LED lighting and power-saving manufacturing equipment supports the fab in securing Toshiba's goal of 12% less CO2 emissions than Fab 4. A wafer transportation system links the facility with Fabs 3 and 4 to support efficient manufacturing.
Norio Sasaki, the president of Toshiba, said in mid-2011 that his company wanted to soon overtake South Korean rival Samsung Electronics as the world's leading maker of flash memory. Nonetheless, back in Q4 2011 and throughout the whole year, Samsung Electronics' NAND flash market share was 5% - 6% ahead of Toshiba's, according to DRAMeXchange. Samsung recently announced plans to build $2.3 billion NAND flash manufacturing facility in China.