Toshiba and SanDisk Will Join Forces to Make Small Memory a Lot Bigger

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Computer technology has two major trends that it follows as time progresses: it gets better and it gets smaller. A 1-gigabyte hard drive from a decade ago that might have taken two hands to hold can now be crammed a hundred times over into a chip that would sit on the tip of your pinky with almost no weight at all, or several thousand times over in a device the same size as the original. To take the technology another major step forward, SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Toshiba (TOSYY.PK) are reportedly partnering to develop ultra-high-capacity memory chips, reports Reuters.

Both Toshiba and SanDisk are major players in the digital memory market. And with smartphones and other more mobile devices gaining prevalence as fast as they have, the demand for bigger memory in smaller sizes is only going to continue to grow. The day will come when the 8 gigabytes available on the cheapest iPhones or even the 64 gigabytes on the most expensive won’t be enough for the kind of video, music, and applications that people are storing on their devices. Aware of this, Toshiba and SanDisk’s move to make higher-capacity memory in a small form factor makes all the sense in the world.

According to Reuters, the two companies will be working together on a new facility to produce 3D NAND memory chips. The plant will replace one of Toshiba’s current plants in Japan. The 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion) price tag on the plant will be split between both companies. NAND memory is nothing new, but 3D NAND will be novel and could lead to major steps forward in the capabilities of small, mobile devices.

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