Toshiba doubles down on memory
In Tokyo yesterday, Japanese consumer electronics giant Toshiba announced plans to spend more than $18 billion on new high-tech factories and other capital equipment. Yoshiko Hara of EETimes breaks out the spending, noting that roughly half will go towards semiconductors -- of which the lion's share will be flash memory for mobile phones and digital cameras. Toshiba partners with SanDisk for flash-memory production, and the companies are now slated to develop two new chip fabs. That's good news for gadget buyers, since the investment will likely lead to higher capacity chips at cheaper prices.

The enormous investment raised for some the specter of oversupply, writes Hara, but Toshiba CEO Atsutoshi Nishida brushed such concerns aside, saying, "We'll decide the actual execution of the investment based on the market situation." Industry analysts are generally pleased by the news, expecting that it will boost Toshiba's share of the critical flash-memory market relative to market leader Samsung, which is also investing heavily in flash.
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