Toshiba, Western Digital reach global settlement
The two vendors agree to strengthen flash memory collaboration
Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC) and Western Digital Corporation have entered into a global settlement agreement to resolve their ongoing disputes in litigation and arbitration, strengthen and extend their relationship, and enhance the mutual commitment to their ongoing flash memory collaboration.
As part of this agreement, TMC and Western Digital will participate jointly in future rounds of investment in Fab 6, the state-of-the-art memory fabrication facility now under construction at Yokkaichi, including the upcoming investment round announced by Toshiba in October 2017.
According to the two companies, Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to the mass production of BiCS Flash, the next-generation of 3D flash memory, starting next year. TMC and Western Digital similarly intend to enter into definitive agreements in due course under which Western Digital will participate in the new flash wafer fabrication facility which will be constructed in Iwate, Japan.
Commenting on the agreement Dr Yasuo Naruke, senior executive vice President of Toshiba Corporation and president and CEO of TMC said: "We are very pleased to have reached this outcome, which clearly benefits all involved. With the concerns about litigation and arbitration removed, we look forward to renewing our collaboration with Western Digital, and accelerating TMC's growth to meet growing global demand for flash memory. Toshiba also remains on track to complete our transaction with the consortium led by Bain Capital by the end of March 2018. This will ensure that TMC has the resources it needs to continue to innovate and deliver for a fast-growing flash memory market, particularly in areas driven forward by advances in AI and IoT."
Steve Milligan, CEO, Western Digital, stated: "Western Digital's core priorities have always been to protect the JVs and ensure their success and longevity, guarantee long-term access to NAND supply, protect our interests in the JVs, and create long-term value for our stakeholders. We are very pleased that these agreements accomplish these critical goals, allow Toshiba to achieve its objectives, and also enable us to continue delivering on the power of our platform. I want to thank the hardworking teams at Western Digital and TMC for the dedication they have exhibited over the past several months, operating the JVs without interruption, and we look forward to building upon the success of our 17 year partnership."