KIOXIA announces construction of memory plant building in Iwate on a scale of 1 trillion yen
🟦 Large-scale investment of 1 trillion yen in KIOXIA Kitakami Plant
KIOXIA (formerly Toshiba Memory) announced that it will begin construction of a new building at its memory plant in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture, in April 2022. The total investment amount is on the scale of 1 trillion yen, and it will be split with Western Digital, which is collaborating with the company. The new building has a building area of 31,000 square meters and is scheduled to start operations in 2023. With the new plant, the production capacity of NAND memory will be about twice as large as it currently is.
NAND flash memory is a semiconductor used for long-term data storage. Due to the demand for data centers and the metaverse, storage capacity continues to grow by 1~3% per year. This requires NAND manufacturers to make continuous capital investments.
Currently, NAND is competing to gain capacity by stacking chips in three dimensions. In 2007, KIOXIA developed the world’s first 3D flash memory, BiCS FLASH. Currently, mass production of the fifth-generation 112-layer laminated product has begun in 2020.
🟦 In anticipation of obtaining Japan government subsidies
The former Toshiba Memory company KIOXIA was created by the acquisition from Toshiba by the Japan-U.S.-ROK alliance led by the investment fund Bain Capital. KIOXIA is aiming for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) to strengthen its financial base in order to prepare for continued investment. The construction of this new plant will not be financed through an IPO, but will be handled within the scope of operating cash flow. The investment decision was made in anticipation of obtaining subsidies from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The types of semiconductors for specific applications eligible for subsidies from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry include 3D NANs, which are KIOXIA’s specialty.
The area of the electronic circuit required for storing one bit of information in the semiconductor (memory)
to be stored is 1,370 square nanometers or lessThe
number of layers of the stacked electronic circuit is 160 or more.
KIOXIA makes major investment in new plant in anticipation of subsidies from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
KIOXIA is affected by production cuts, so it is unlikely that good performance can be expected. The timing of the IPO is likely to be a while away.