South Korean electronics manufacturers Samsung Electronics and Toshiba have partnered to license their NAND flash memory chips technologies to each other.
Online newspaper The Korea Times estimates that the deal could boost the demand for high-end chips, increasing the portion of the fusion memory chip market, which is forecast to increase to $5 billion by 2010 from an expected $800m in 2008.
As a part of the agreement, Samsung will license product specifications of its integrated OneNAND and Flex-OneNAND fusion memory chips to Toshiba, while Toshiba will license product specifications of its single-package LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND flash chips to Samsung. The two companies plan to release products next year based on the respectively licensed product specifications.
The companies said that this arrangement allows original equipment manufacturers a broader choice of suppliers, reducing any potential risk of over-dependence on a single supplier.
Yun-Ho Choi, senior vice president of the flash team at Samsung said: Samsung will place additional priority on meeting the anticipated growth in demand for high-performance NAND flash in mobile and other consumer applications through the provisioning of more diverse NAND solutions and peripheral interfaces.
According to Samsung, its OneNAND and Flex OneNAND are fusion memories, which integrate a NAND core, SRAM and error correcting engines for use in consumer electronics. Toshiba said that its LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND are non-volatile memories, which integrate a controller and NAND flash memory designed for use in mobile consumer products such as digital audio players, personal media players and mobile phones.
As of March 2007, Samsung had more than 50% share of the NAND flash memory market followed by Toshiba, according to the Financial Times.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates