Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) have finalized a formal agreement to jointly invest in the “K1” manufacturing facility that Toshiba Memory is currently constructing in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
The K1 facility will produce 3D flash memory to support 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. The companies’ joint capital investments in equipment for the K1 facility will enable initial production output of 96-layer 3D flash memory beginning in calendar 2020, with meaningful output expected to begin later in the year.
Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in their respective memory businesses by actively developing initiatives aimed at strengthening technology competitiveness, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments according to market trends.
“We are determined to demonstrate Toshiba Memory’s leadership in the market, including 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.”
“The agreement to jointly invest in the K1 facility marks the continuation of our highly successful collaboration with Toshiba Memory, which has fostered growth and innovation of NAND flash technology for two decades,” said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer of Western Digital. “Western Digital’s long-term investment strategy for the Kitakami site reflects our ongoing commitment to drive flash technology development and 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.”