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SanDisk Preps Secret-Weapon Chip
Alexei Oreskovic,, Jul 7, 2008

'Gregory Wong, a memory analyst at market research and consulting firm Forward Insights, says the deal suggests SanDisk has made progress.

Toshiba is SanDisk's longtime partner for manufacturing -- the two companies own and operate several chip fabrication facilities together. So bringing Toshiba into the fold makes sense if a technology is nearing the point where it can be commercially manufactured.
"For SanDisk to move in this direction seems to imply that they're at a level where they can start developing this for production in three or four years," says Wong.
But Wong, the Forward Insights analyst, notes that the equipment could also be used to produce rewriteable 3D chips, since both technologies share similar production processes. In fact, Wong says it wouldn't be surprising if SanDisk were making the investment to set up a small, research-dedicated manufacturing line with Toshiba, giving the firms some hands-on experience producing re-writeable 3D chips.

"If you really want to accelerate the development, you really need an R&D line to accelerate the learning," says Wong.
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