SanDisk on Track to Start Transition to 24nm Fabrication Process in 2010

SanDisk's and Toshiba's 24nm Manufacturing Technology Is Ready for Mass Production

by Anton Shilov
07/22/2010 | 10:47 PM

SanDisk Corp. said that its transition to 32nm process technology is progressing as planned and with high yields. The company, which shares production capacities with Toshiba Corp., also said that later this year it would start transition to 24nm fabrication process, which is inline in terms of timeframes with its rivals.


"The ramp of our 32nm technology has progressed well with high yields and productivity. The mix of 32nm technology using X2 and our current-generation X3 architecture was about two-thirds of our total production output. We expect to complete the 32nm transition in the third quarter. This progress, combined with continued usage of X3 is delivering better cost reductions than we expected for the year. [...] Addressing our next generation technology, we are on track to start transitioning to the 24nm node later this year," said Sanjay Mehrotra, the president and chief operating officer at SanDisk, during the quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

Samsung Electronics, the largest maker of flash memory and the arch-rival of Toshiba, initiated sampling of 20nm-class multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory in April, 2010. The company said back then that 20nm-class fabrication process enables 50% higher productivity compared to 30nm-class node. Micron Technology also said that it, along with IM Flash (a joint-venture between Micron and Intel), would start transition to 20nm-class fabrication technology. But so far only SanDisk has updated the market regarding the status of its 24nm node.

SanDisk announced results for the second quarter ended July 4, 2010.  Total second quarter revenue of $1.18 billion increased 61% on a year-over-year basis and increased 9% on a sequential basis. Net income, in accordance with the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), was $258 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $53 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2009 and GAAP net income of $235 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2010.

Separately today, SanDisk announced that Dr. Eli Harari, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire from his current positions on December 31, 2010. As part of the succession planning process, the board of directors appointed Sanjay Mehrotra, currently SanDisk's president and chief operating officer, as the new chief executive officer of the company, effective January 1, 2011. Mr. Mehrotra was appointed to the company's board of directors effective July 21, 2010. The Board also appointed Michael Marks, a member of the SanDisk Board since 2003, to the role of chairman effective January 1, 2011.