LONDON – Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. have announced the opening of Fab 5, the third 300-mm wafer fab for the production of NAND flash memory at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
The fab was described as having a total budget of 800 billion yen (about $10 billion) in 2010 and a fully facilitized capacity of about 200,000 wafer starts per month when the manufacturing expansion plan was re-activated in 2010.
Toshiba began the construction of Fab 5 in July 2010 and it started volume production on 24-nm process technology in July 2011. First wafer outs are expected in August. The chipmaking equipment has been paid for by Flash Forward Ltd., a joint venture between Toshiba and SanDisk formed in September 2010 – 50.1 percent owned by Toshiba and 49.9 percent by SanDisk.
The plant will transition to a 19-nm manufacturing process technology which is the world's smallest and most advanced process node.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.