Toshiba announced on Friday it will build a new 300-millimetre wafer fabrication facility for power semiconductors that will more than double the company's power chip production output when it begins production sometime in fiscal 2024.
Construction of the new facility, to be located in the Ishikawa Prefecture, will take place in two phases. It will begin in spring 2023 and is expected to be completed by spring the following year, the company said. Once production starts, Toshiba believes its power semiconductor production capacity will become 2.5 times that of fiscal 2021.
The company added the new fab will feature a "quake absorbing" structure, dual power supply lines, along with artificial intelligence and automated wafer transportation systems.
The move by Toshiba comes amidst car and electronics equipment makers continuing to struggle with the global chip shortage. Previous research by AlixPartners indicated the shortage will cost the auto industry $210 billion in lost revenue.
Toshiba claims that to date it has managed to meet growing chip demands by increasing production capacity on 200-millimetre lines, and by expediting the start of production on 300-millimetre production lines from the first half of fiscal 2023 to the second half of fiscal 2022.
"Going forward, Toshiba will expand its power semiconductor business and boost competitiveness by timely investments and research and development that will allow it to respond to fast growing demand, and to contribute to a low-energy society and carbon neutrality," the company said.
In November, the Japanese company split itself into three standalone companies -- Infrastructure Service Co, Device Co, and Toshiba -- in hopes that it would help deliver sustainable profit growth as well as enhance shareholder value and trust.
The separation was unanimously approved by Toshiba's board and forms part of a plan that was devised from a recommendation made by the board's strategic review committee.
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