According to DigiTimes, Apple chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is also interested in acquiring a stake in Japanese giant Toshiba’s memory business. The semiconductor foundry has been looking to expand into the lucrative 3D NAND memory sector.
Apple’s top supplier of memory chips, Toshiba is looking to spin off its flash unit into a separate company after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss, with the split to become effective on April 1, 2017.
Sources said that TSMC could help Toshiba set up a 3D NAND production facility in Taiwan by providing support such as bringing down its production costs locally.
Toshiba owns a bunch of patents related to flash memory technologies.
The Japanese conglomerate will sell more than half of the planned separate entity to one or more companies as it needs money to finance its working capital.
With TSMC manufacturing expertise and financial clout, the foundry could help Toshiba expand in the 3D NAND field, posing a challenge to the industry leader Samsung. Aside from TSMC, Western Digital and Foxconn Technology Group, other potential bidders include Apple, Micron Technology, Microsoft, SK Hynix and several capital funds.
As a reminder, Samsung lost a contract to build iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip to TSMC, which is thought to have cut an exclusive deal with the Cupertino firm to manufacture processors for 2017 iPhone and iPad models.