Toshiba contemplating spinning out NAND flash

This is remarkable if true, and if they follow through with it, it will change the landscape of Flash quite a bit.

Right now there are 43 major flash providers, and a few smaller ones. Building flash fabs is expensive, even given the demand and process improvements, there is still quite a bit of investment required to set up a flash fab.

Toshiba has some cool kit here, we’ve worked with it (and in full disclosure, we were talking about working more closely with them in the past). If they spin out the business, that will change the dynamic between Toshiba the enterprise storage company, and Toshiba the flash manufacturer. It could open doors for Samsung/Intel to do something with Toshiba the enterprise storage company. Or be an acquisition target for someone like Seagate. WD bought SanDisk, so it would make sense if Seagate grabbed this.

Given that storage OEMs like Seagate and WD are going for more vertical integration, having this core product supplier change its model somewhat, definitely opens doors for the OEMs to pull them in. But these OEMs then need to also start looking at hyper-converged systems, as the array business is on a long secular decline as the market changes.

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