Toshiba, the second-largest player in the global NAND flash market, is planning to take over the storage business unit of Taiwanese Lite-On Technology ahead of its listing scheduled for next year.
Lite-On Technology is the owner of SSD brand Plextor, which is well-known for its inexpensive yet high-performance products. The predecessor of the storage business unit of the Taiwanese company is Plextor, a Japanese company. In short, Lite-On Technology is about to be owned by a Japanese company in nine years.
Toshiba’s plan is to increase its NAND flash shipments by sales channel expansion. The company can make use of Lite-On Technology’s partnerships with PC manufacturers such as Dell and HP and enhance its data center SSD design and production by acquiring the Taiwanese company. In addition, Toshiba, which is planning to change its name to Kioxia in October this year, can enhance its brand awareness by using the new name on SSDs for individual customers.
In the meantime, Toshiba recently announced that it is working on penta level cell (PLC) NAND flash memories. The new product is expected to boost the company’s productivity based on the production of more chips at the same area and cost reduction. At present, Samsung Electronics is producing NAND flash memories by using quad level cell (QLC) techniques. SK Hynix released QLC NAND flash memories in May this year.
“The planned acquisition is for Toshiba, which is going through hard times, to improve its business structure ahead of listing,” said a semiconductor industry expert, adding, “If Toshiba’s plan goes well, SK Hynix can benefit as a shareholder while Samsung Electronics will pay closer attention as the largest player in the market.”