Toshiba said Tuesday it is developing a line of products for storing large amounts of data, based on its flash
The company is working on a three-tier strategy to spur in-house demand for NAND flash memory, of which it is
among the world’s largest manufacturers. It will offer memory chips for use in storage hardware, data servers that
combine hard disks, solid-state drives and flash and software services for analyzing and handling large amounts of
“Up until now we’ve sold mostly to outside companies, but we want to strengthen our own offerings,” said Masaki
Momodomi, a senior engineer at Toshiba.
NAND flash makers like Toshiba are in a constant race to roll out chips with finer circuits, which offer cheaper
storage and better efficiency, but they are closing in on the physical limits possible with current technology. The
Japanese company has until now focused on out-shrinking rivals like Samsung, and last year was the first to launch
solid state drives with 19-nanometer memory.
Momodomi said Toshiba will offer chips at smaller than 19 nms, but remaining in the teens, over the next two
years. The company is also working on three-dimensional storage, a possible successor to current NAND flash
technology that stacks memory in layers for greater density, and says it will have prototype samples ready by
Toshiba announced the effort as part of its new research and development strategy. At its headquarters in
central Tokyo, the firm showed several upcoming products, including quantum encryption and home lighting based on
organic light-emitting diodes.
The company said its strategy going forward is also focused on adding headcount outside of Japan.
Toshiba said that 70 percent of its new research personnel through the fiscal year ending in March 2015 will be
hired outside of Japan. The bulk of the new hires will come in China, India and Vietnam, where research projects
will focus on technologies and products meant for the countries where they are developed.
“We have to keep a firm grasp on the global trends,” said Akira Sudo, an R&D executive.