Toshiba Announces Strategies for Its Semiconductor/storage Business (page 2)

Sep 14, 2013
Jyunichi Oshita, Nikkei BP Semiconductor Research

In the storage business, Toshiba will shift focus from client HDDs (for personal computers), which have been the main products, to enterprise HDDs and SSDs for servers, etc. In addition to SSDs and HDDs used as high-capacity storage devices, the company will focus on SSDs used for cache memory, which fill the gap between processor/DRAM and high-capacity storage.

For those enterprise applications, Toshiba plans to release high-speed SSDs equipped with a PCI Express interface. The ratio of the sales of enterprise HDDs and SSDs in the storage business was 25% in fiscal 2012. But the company aims to increase it to 50% by fiscal 2015.

In the discrete semiconductor business, Toshiba will focus on white LEDs and power devices. In regard to white LEDs, the company plans to quickly catch up with other companies by using low-cost products equipped with silicon (Si) substrates instead of sapphire substrates, which are commonly used for white LEDs. It has already achieved light-emitting properties equivalent to those of products using sapphire substrates.

As for power devices, Toshiba will improve the properties of current Si-based power MOSFETs and establish businesses related to GaN-based devices using GaN-on-Si technology and SiC-based devices.

The ratio of the sales of white LEDs and power devices in the discrete semiconductor business was 50% in fiscal 2012, but the company aims to increase it to 70% in fiscal 2015.

Mixed signal chip
In the mixed signal chip business, Toshiba plans to develop automotive and industrial applications by using, for example, products that combine image processing chips and discrete semiconductors as main products. The company aims to increase the ratio of the sales of automotive and industrial products in the mixed signal chip business from 30% in fiscal 2012 to 50% in fiscal 2015.

Logic chip
In the logic chip business, Toshiba intends to decrease the number of product areas to increase profit, focusing on chips used with applications processors. Specifically, they are (1) the ApP Plus (Application Processor Plus) companion chip, (2) "ApP Lite (Application Processor Lite)" front-end chip, which functions as an interface with sensors, (3) FFSA (Fit Fast Structured Arrays) structured array/gate array, which provides a function that falls between ASIC and FPGA and so forth.

Toshiba aims to increase the ratio of the sales of those three products in the logic chip business from almost zero in fiscal 2012 to 70% in fiscal 2015.