A pair of fabrication facilities operated by Toshiba Memory Corporation as part of a joint venture with Western Digital has been hit by a power outage which, the company warns, is likely to reduce its flash output by a whopping six exabytes over the next few quarters.

Flash memory, the non-volatile storage found in solid-state drives (SSDs), has been steadily dropping in price since November last year after supply shortages had driven spot pricing up in early 2018. Buyers could, however, be faced with another spike in price thanks to a power outage that has taken out two of Toshiba Memory Corporation's wafer production facilities, operated in partnership with Western Digital.

The outage at the Toshiba Memory Corporation facilities in Japan's Yokkaichi region took place on June 15th, but it has taken this long for joint venture partner Western Digital to assess its impact and determine how it will affect its production schedule. According to a statement issued late last night, the outage impacted both the facilities and process tools used for NAND flash wafer production and has still not been full resolved - with the result that Western Digital is warning its own supply of NAND flash wafers will drop by a storage capacity of a whopping six exabytes.

This shortage, Western Digital claims, will be largely felt in the first quarter of its 2020 financial year, which doesn't give it much time to cushion the market from the impact: Its financial year runs through to the end of July, meaning that the shortfall will hit its peak within the next couple of months.

Neither Western Digital nor Toshiba Memory Corporation have offered a timescale for when the two facilities will be fully operational again, except to say that they are working to restore production 'as quickly as possible.'


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July 19 2019 | 17:30

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