TOYKO, JAPAN/SUNNYVALE, CA, U.S.A., Oct. 3, 2000 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT) today announced that they have renewed their existing patent cross license agreement and extended its scope to include, on a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide basis, a license to the multi-level flash memory (sometimes referred to as MLC flash) patent portfolios of both companies.
Under the new agreement, SanDisk and Hitachi will be free to use each other's patents related to binary flash and MLC flash in any of their products, with some exclusion of each company's proprietary technology. In addition, as part of the agreement, SanDisk will be guaranteed a portion of Hitachi's flash memory capacity. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Eli Harari, SanDisk President and CEO, said, "SanDisk is happy to announce the signing of this important flash memory patent cross-licensing agreement with Hitachi, one of the leading suppliers of flash memory storage cards. Under this agreement, SanDisk recognizes the value of Hitachi's extensive semiconductor patents, while Hitachi recognizes the value of SanDisk's fundamental MLC flash memory patents. Both companies believe that the future of flash cards for the new post-PC consumer electronics markets, such as digital imaging, music and video lies with MLC flash technology."
"We are pleased to establish this mutually beneficial business relationship with SanDisk. We expect this relationship will be a benefit for our flash memory customers and provide a clear path for the expansion of flash technology to new applications," said Mikio Sakurai, general manager, System Memory Business Division, Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits of Hitachi.
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. San Disk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) consolidated sales of 8,001 billion yen ($75.5 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's web site at http://www.hitachi.co.jp. Hitachi's semiconductor business web site/home page address: http://www.hitachi.co.jp/Sicd
*At an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.
The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including the ability of the companies to manufacture products using MLC technology in various flash technology platforms, competition from other technologies, timely and uninterrupted supply of products and materials from various suppliers and third party manufacturers, as well as other factors. Other risk factors for SanDisk include those items described under the caption, "Risk Factors" in SanDisk's annual report on Form 10K and quarterly reports on Form 10Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation to update the information in this release.