Toshiba invests $1.76bn in flash fab production line, WD kinda peeved

Star-crossed lovers secretly kicking each other to death


Toshiba and Western Digital Corp negotiating makes for bizarre viewing. Billions of dollars are at stake, goodwill is laughably absent and one of the world's best flash production partnerships could be headed down the toilet.

Rehash the background here or accept the summary that Tosh needs billions in cash and wants to sell its memory business, which owns Tosh's interest in the flash fab joint venture with WDC. WDC says it can't do that and the lawyers are on the case. Tosh shutdown WDC access to the joint venture's databases to exert pressure on WDC so Steve Milligan's mob went to court.

It won a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the database access denial. Tosh then went to the court itself to have the TRO overturned. The Court of Appeal has denied this request to have the TRO overturned so Toshiba states (PDF) it "has resumed allowing WDC access" but only to information existing before June 28.

Flash fab development funding

Toshiba issued a release today saying its memory sub will unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at Yokkaichi operations. Tosh says it tried negotiating with WDC subsidiary SanDisk on joint phase 1 investment but failed to reach agreement. It's investing ¥195bn ($1.76bn) in financial 2017 on its own to install equipment needed for 96-layer BiCS 3D NAND machinery and the construction of the next phase 2 part of Fab 6's development. Installation should start in December.

WD is reportedly disappointed by Tosh's go-it-alone decision and was determined to invest in the upgrade. Stifel analyst and MD Aaron Rakers writes that the joint venture "provides rights to participate in the investments in Fab 6 equipment along with Toshiba – exactly what the company intends to do; noting that the company's Board of Directors has authorised investments in Fab 6".

Comment

What can we say? Toshiba has a plan and WDC has a quite different plan. Both sail serenely on the surface of the corporate sea like a pair of lovey-dovey swans. They both say they want to cooperate and negotiate and love each other to bits while, under the water's surface, they and their hired legal guns are kicking the hell out of each other.

Tosh could go bankrupt and WDC lose access to the flash chips it needs to power its Seagate-beating step away from total reliance on disk drives. We watch, we wait, and we try to understand what these two giants might do next, while hoping that self-destruction isn't on the agenda. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro Android 12 smartphone launch marred by shopping cart crashes

    Chocolate Factory talks up Tensor mobile SoC, Titan M2 security ... for those who can get them

    Google held a virtual event on Tuesday to introduce its latest Android phones, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which are based on a Google-designed Tensor system-on-a-chip (SoC).

    "We're getting the most out of leading edge hardware and software, and AI," said Rick Osterloh, SVP of devices and services at Google. "The brains of our new Pixel lineup is Google Tensor, a mobile system on a chip that we designed specifically around our ambient computing vision and Google's work in AI."

    This latest Tensor SoC has dual Arm Cortex-X1 CPU cores running at 2.8GHz to handle application threads that need a lot of oomph, two Cortex-A76 cores at 2.25GHz for more modest workloads, and four 1.8GHz workhorse Cortex-A55 cores for lighter, less-energy-intensive tasks.

    Continue reading
  • BlackMatter ransomware gang will target agriculture for its next harvest – Uncle Sam

    What was that about hackable tractors?

    The US CISA cybersecurity agency has warned that the Darkside ransomware gang, aka BlackMatter, has been targeting American food and agriculture businesses – and urges security pros to be on the lookout for indicators of compromise.

    Well known in Western infosec circles for causing the shutdown of the US Colonial Pipeline, Darkside's apparent rebranding as BlackMatter after promising to go away for good in the wake of the pipeline hack hasn't slowed their criminal extortion down at all.

    "Ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure entities could directly affect consumer access to critical infrastructure services; therefore, CISA, the FBI, and NSA urge all organizations, including critical infrastructure organizations, to implement the recommendations listed in the Mitigations section of this joint advisory," said the agencies in an alert published on the CISA website.

    Continue reading
  • It's heeere: Node.js 17 is out – but not for production use, says dev team

    EcmaScript 6 modules will not stop growing use of Node, claims chair of Technical Steering Committee

    Node.js 17 is out, loaded with OpenSSL 3 and other new features, but it is not intended for use in production – and the promotion for Node.js 16 to an LTS release, expected soon, may be more important to most developers.

    The release cycle is based on six-monthly major versions, with only the even numbers becoming LTS (long term support) editions. The rule is that a new even-numbered release becomes LTS six months later. All releases get six months of support. This means that Node.js 17 is primarily for testing and experimentation, but also that Node.js 16 (released in April) is about to become LTS. New features in 16 included version 9.0 of the V8 JavaScript engine and prebuilt Apple silicon binaries.

    "We put together the LTS release process almost five years ago, it works quite well in that we're balancing [the fact] that some people want the latest, others prefer to have things be stable… when we go LTS," Red Hat's Michael Dawson, chair of the Node.js Technical Steering Committee, told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021