TOKYO, May 14 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp and SanDisk Corp said on Wednesday they plan to start producing 3D NAND, a new advanced type of flash memory, at a plant in Japan from 2016 as demand grows for high-storage chips used in mobile devices.
The companies said in statement they will invest jointly in a new facility that will replace an existing semiconductor making unit at Toshiba's Yokkaichi plant in central Japan.
Toshiba and California-based SanDisk did not give a figure, but Japan's Nikkei business daily reported they will invest up to 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion) in the new facility, with the companies splitting the cost.
NAND memory chips are used in smartphones, cameras and other mobile devices to store music, pictures and other data, and the new 3D NAND technology can store 16 times more than existing products. ($1 = 102.2250 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Miral Fahmy)