Toshiba and Western Digital Lose Out on 6 Exabytes of NAND Due to Power Failure


The FPS Review
Staff member
May 6, 2019
Toshiba Memory and Western Digital have revealed that their manufacturing facilities in the Yokkaichi province (Japan) came to a grinding halt on June 15 due to an unexpected power outage that lasted 13 minutes. The end result? A massive loss of NAND.

The companies' NAND flash wafer supply will be down 6 exabytes in Q3 because of the incident. This is almost half of what Toshiba and WD normally produce for a quarter.

Both companies are assessing the damage at the moment, so the financial harm of the incident is unclear. Not even counting potential damage to production tools and other equipment used at the fabs, 6 EB of NAND cost a lot of money. Furthermore, analysts from TrendForce believe that a consequence of the outage will be some loss of confidence from clients of both companies, which will have a financial impact as well.
Furthermore it sounds very fishy that a plant which stands to lose billions if power goes off for a few minutes doesn't have redundant power in the form of battery backup during a switch to diesel generators.

This is very fishy.

That said, I'm not convinced this is a conspiracy to raise NAND prices by cutting supply. If they wanted to do that, they could just say "Due to low NAND prices, we ahve bmade the business decision to cut back on 3rd shift operations and reduce production by a third." They don't need to make up a scandal.
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