Toshiba, SanDisk form flash memory JV

Toshiba, SanDisk form flash memory JV

Two of the world's major computer memory manufacturers, Toshiba and SanDisk, have announced plans to create a new semiconductor joint venture to produce flash memory chips.

FlashVision will be equally owned by the two companies, each of which will receive half of the chips produced. Mass production is scheduled to begin in late 2001, with production of 512M-bit NAND-type flash memories to a 0.16 micron rule, the companies said.

The chips, which are primarily used in products such as digital still cameras, digital music players and mobile telephones, will be manufactured at the US-based factory of Dominion Semiconductor, a semiconductor joint venture formed by SanDisk and IBM in which Toshiba is currently purchasing IBM's stake.

Toshiba and SanDisk will spend $US700 million to equip existing space at the factory.

The two companies also announced plans to begin working together on development of 1Gbit and 2Gbit flash memory chips.

The agreement to form FlashVision is expected to be signed no later than June 30.

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