512 Megabit NAND Flash Is First Product
MANASSAS, VA, June 6, 2001 -SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced today that their new FlashVision fabrication (fab) plant has gone into production of advanced flash memories, and shipments of the product have started. FlashVision LLC, a new semiconductor company started by Toshiba and SanDisk, is utilizing fabrication space at Dominion Semiconductor, a company owned by Toshiba, in Manassas, VA. The announcement was made today at a press conference at the plant.
The NAND memory wafers being produced by FlashVision will primarily be used to manufacture flash memory storage cards for use in digital cameras, digital Internet music players and future generations of cell phones. A key enabling technology at the heart of a variety of existing and emerging consumer devices, NAND flash has become the removable storage medium of choice for cost-sensitive portable applications.
Rich Wawrzyniak, director of non volatile memory for Semico Research Corp., said, "Although overall demand for flash has been reduced in the first quarter of 2001, there is still good growth and a high degree of interest at the higher densities of NAND flash today. The FlashVision fab of SanDisk and Toshiba is coming on-line at just the right time to capture a significant share of this demand for higher-density NAND products."
Toru Watanabe, CEO of Dominion Semiconductor, said, "Today marks another milestone for the semiconductor industry and the economy of Northern Virginia. This is an especially exciting venture for SanDisk and Toshiba because the flash memory wafers will be going into consumer electronics markets including digital cameras, handheld computers and other mobile devices. Sales of these products are projected to grow dramatically in the future."
Eli Harari, CEO and president of SanDisk, noted, "The fact that the FlashVision fab is up and running only a year after Toshiba and SanDisk signed the agreement creating the FlashVision company speaks volumes about the strong partnership and cooperation between the two companies and the high caliber of the dedicated and extremely talented team at FlashVision. We believe that the Dominion 512 Mbit NAND flash memory now starting production at Dominion is the most advanced flash in the industry, and will provide the customers of Toshiba and SanDisk a cost effective high volume manufacturing source once production volumes pick up over the next several quarters."
Kevin Kilbuck, business development director for Static and Flash Memory Products for TAEC, said, "Toshiba's flash line-up is the perfect complement to SanDisk's controller and multi-level cell technology - giving customers the combined strengths of two industry leaders. Allowing Toshiba to further its aggressive growth in the flash market, the added capacity from the FlashVision fab will help us meet growing customer need for high-density, low-cost flash solutions. The timing of this production ramp is ideal for supporting the spike in demand we anticipate during this year's holiday buying season."
Dominion, which thus far has hired about 300 workers for the FlashVision fab, expects to have about 600 personnel working at the plant when it ramps into high volume mass production next year.
Under the strategic joint venture, Toshiba and SanDisk are spending approximately $700 million to equip the fab. The investment costs and ownership of FlashVision are being shared equally by both companies. Toshiba and SanDisk will each get 50 percent of Dominion's flash memory production and will separately market and sell their share of the output to their respective customers.
Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) offers the industry's broadest line-up of semiconductor, display and storage solutions for the computing, wireless, networking and digital consumer markets. Combining quality and flexibility with design engineering expertise, TAEC brings advanced next-generation technologies to its OEM customers.
TAEC is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America Inc., a subsidiary of the $54 billion (FY 1999 recorded sales) Toshiba Corp., the second largest semiconductor company worldwide in terms of global sales for the year 2000. Toshiba Corp. is a world leader in high-technology products with more than 300 major subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. For additional company and product information, please visit TAEC's web site at chips.toshiba.com. For technical inquiries, please e-mail Tech.Questions@taec.toshiba.com.
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.
The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Result" in SanDisk's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation to update the information in this release.
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