Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba has been suffering some financial difficulties as of late. These losses are at least partially related to a 2015 accounting scandal and trouble in the company's nuclear power business in the Unites States. The company has reportedly sought outside capital by seeking a buyer for a minority stake in its semiconductor manufacturing business. Someone in an expensive suit must believe the saying "you have to spend money to make money," because the company has announced the beginning of construction of a new fabrication plant and a memory R&D center in Yokkaichi, Japan.
The factory will produce Bit Cost Scalable (BiCS) 3D NAND flash memory. The BiCS technology was co-developed by Toshiba and Sandisk, who's now a part of storage giant Western Digital. WD announced pilot production of 512-gigabit TLC 64-layer 3D NAND at an existing fabrication plant in Yokkaichi at the International Solid State Circuits Conference eariler this week.
Toshiba will build the new fabrication plant in two phases. The company says this will allow "the pace of investment to be optimized against market trends." The first phase is set to finish in summer 2018. Toshiba says the R&D center that will be built adjacent to the factory will help the company "advance development of BiCS flash and new memories." The company expects the R&D building to be complete in December of this year.