updated 01:10 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2007
Samsung, Toshiba NAND
Samsung and Toshiba have announced an unusual deal connecting the companies' memory technology. Through a new agreement, Samsung will be able to produce and sell memory using Toshiba's LBA-NAND name and specifications, while Toshiba will in turn gain the rights to Samsung's OneNAND. Device builders will thus be able to turn to either company for either memory format. Although normally a move not conducive to profit, the deal should be mutually beneficial in the unique conditions of the NAND market, which recently recovered from a crippling shortage.
The crisis was triggered almost exclusively by Apple, which uses NAND in iPods and the iPhone, and was at one point expected to consume as much as 25 percent of all flash memory worldwide. Manufacturing plants could not keep up, in part because not enough facilities were equipped to make the memory Apple needed. By duplicating product lines, Samsung and Toshiba may be able to avert future bottlenecks.