Possible Kioxia / Western Digital Merger: Who is Kioxia?

Who is Kioxia, building

Kioxia Holdings Corporation, abbreviated as Kioxia and stylized as KIOXIA, is a Japanese-American multinational computer memory manufacturer headquartered in Tokyo. In June 2018, Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from the Toshiba conglomerate. On March 1, 2019, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation and was renamed Kioxia in October 2019

While still a subsidiary of Toshiba, the company was credited with inventing flash memory in the early 1980s. The company is expected to have 18.3% of the global revenue share for NAND flash solid-state drives in the second quarter of 2021. Kioxia Corporation’s parent company is this one.

Fujio Masuoka, an engineer at Kioxia predecessor Toshiba, invented flash memory in 1980, and Masuoka and his colleagues presented their NOR flash invention in 1984.

Toshiba Corporation completed its acquisition of OCZ Storage Solutions in January 2014, renaming it OCZ and making it a Toshiba brand.

Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from Toshiba Corporation on June 1, 2018, due to heavy losses incurred by the bankruptcy of former parent company Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary over nuclear power plant construction at Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in 2016. Toshiba retained 40.2% ownership of the new company. Toshiba’s memory businesses were all merged into the new company. On March 1, 2019, Toshiba Memory Corporation became a subsidiary of the newly formed Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation.

Kioxia suffered a power outage at one of its factories in Yokkaichi, Japan, in June 2019, resulting in the loss of at least 6 exabytes of flash memory, with some sources estimating the loss to be as high as 15 exabytes. Western Digital used (and continues to use) Kioxia’s facilities to manufacture its own flash memory chips.

On July 18, 2019, Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation announced that all Toshiba memory companies would be renamed Kioxia beginning October 1, 2019. Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation was renamed Kioxia Holdings Corporation on October 1, 2019, and Toshiba Memory Corporation was renamed Kioxia Corporation. Companies associated with Toshiba’s solid-state drive brand OCZ were also renamed.

On August 30, 2019, Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation, which has not yet adopted the Kioxia brand, declared that it had entered into a binding contract to buy the SSD division of Taiwanese electronics maker Lite-On for US$165 million. The deal was finalized on July 1st, 2020.

Western Digital (WD) acknowledged that at least 6.5 exabytes of memory output were impacted when Kioxia and Western Digital stated that contamination issues have impacted the output of their joint-production flash memory plants in February 2022. Due to the contamination, the Japanese factories Kiakami and Yokkaichi ceased operations.

In April 2022, Kioxia made the announcement that they will be contributing 100 million yen ($790,000) to aid those affected by the Ukrainian conflict.

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Mark McCrosky

Kicking around in technology since 2002. I like to write about technology products and ideas, but at the consumer level understanding. Some tech, but not too techie. Posting on Quora.com as well.

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