Toshiba and WD will together invest in flash memory manufacturing facility

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital have completed a formal joint venture agreement in the K1 production facility that Toshiba Memory currently builds in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

K1 will produce 3D flash memory to support the growing demand for storage in the application of data centers, smart phones and autonomous cars. K1 plant construction is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2019. Joint venture capital investments by K1 plant equipment will enable the initial production of 96-layer 3D flash memory at the beginning of the 2020 calendar, and a significant output to the market will start later in the year, according to a statement.

“We are determined to show the leadership of Toshiba Memory in the market, including cooperation with Western Digital to actively execute initiatives that will strengthen our competitiveness,” says Yasuo Naruke, President and CEO of Toshiba Memory. “We look forward to the joint development of 3D flash memory and the implementation of investments tailored to the prospective market opportunities.”

“The joint venture agreement in the K1 facility marks the continuation of our highly successful collaboration with Toshiba Memory, which has sparked the growth and innovation of NAND flash technology for two decades,” says Steve Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of Western Digital. “Western Digital’s long-term investment strategy for the Kitakami site reflects our constant commitment to developing technology and flash production together with Toshiba’s memory. This expansion is well positioned to provide the most competitive flash offer in the industry to meet long-term demand trends driven by increasing volumes, speed, diversity and data value. “