10/11/2002 - SanDisk and Toshiba jointly announced that they will develop 90 nanometer (nm or 0.09 micron) process technology that will lead to overall increased supply and improved competitiveness of NAND flash memory. Shrinking die sizes allows more megabytes (MB) per wafer, increasing total output capability and adding to product competitiveness. The joint development calls for various capacities including 2 gigabit (Gb) and 4Gb MLC NAND flash memory devices as well as various smaller densities. The 90nm technology will allow for the doubling of capacities from previous generations of 130nm products.
The integration of multiple 4Gb (512MB) flash chips on a single memory card will enable handheld computers, mobile phones, digital cameras or other devices to store a feature-length DVD-quality video, thousands of high-resolution images, more than 30 hours of digital music or gigabytes of computer files. Both companies also plan to offer MLC NAND flash in addition to binary NAND flash using the same process to advance product competitiveness and increase available output.
Toshiba's advanced expertise in NAND flash process technology and the multi-level cell (MLC) technology pioneered by SanDisk will accelerate the joint development of 90nm process technology and contribute to the early launch of 2Gb (binary) and 4Gb MLC NAND flash memory. SanDisk and Toshiba expect to sample 90nm devices in the second half of 2003 with production scheduled for the first quarter in 2004. Both SanDisk and Toshiba view the commercialization of NAND MLC on the 90nm technology as a crucial step for reinforcing their technology and market-leading position, expanding existing markets and cultivating new markets for flash memory data storage.
Masashi Muromachi, General Manager of Toshiba's Memory Division, said: "Toshiba and SanDisk have responded to diversifying market demand in a close collaboration dedicated to offering the highest capacity binary and MLC NAND flash memories. This joint development underpins our shared commitment to leadership in all aspects of the NAND flash memory business and our determination to provide our customers with the fullest possible line-up of NAND products. We continue to devote our energy and resources to development, and we are already working on future-generation, leading-edge technology including 70nm and 55nm process technology that will assure more powerful NAND devices and cultivate new applications."
Eli Harari, president and CEO at SanDisk, said, "The ever-increasing demand for larger capacity and competitive storage cards for use in consumer electronics devices and industrial applications is the driving force behind our relentless efforts to accelerate our flash technology roadmap and expand the markets for our flash storage products. SanDisk and Toshiba have leveraged the experience gained over the years to achieve 210nm, 160nm and 130nm process technologies and we will be able to leverage this expertise toward the development of 90nm technology. We have already made significant strides in understanding and overcoming the challenges required to get this technology into production. Once again, Toshiba has proven to be a strategic and valued partner for SanDisk."
The 90nm NAND memory chips will be produced for both companies in Toshiba's advanced fabrication production facility at Yokkaichi, Japan under the FlashVision Joint Venture established by Toshiba and SanDisk.
SanDisk Corporation, the world's largest supplier of flash data storage products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.
Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. The company's integration of these wide-ranging capabilities assures its position as an innovator in advanced components, products, and systems. Toshiba has approximately 176,000 employees worldwide, and annual sales of over US$40 billion.
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