Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Foxconn, two companies who work with Apple, are teaming up to place a bid for a stake in Toshiba's memory chip unit according to Chinese site Liberty Times (via DigiTimes).
The partnership could perhaps give TSMC and Foxconn the tools to gain a serious foothold in the flash memory market that's currently dominated by Samsung.
Via the cooperation, the report claimed, TSMC will be able to challenge Korea-based Samsung Electronics' leadership in the flash memory market, allowing the pure-play foundry house to achieve a new wave of growth. The two companies' bidding team is currently in Japan aggressively preparing for document submission prior to the March 29 first-round bidding.
Bidding is set to start on March 29, and Foxconn and TSMC are said to have representatives in Japan that are preparing to place a bid. According to Foxconn chairman Terry Guo, the company is interested in pushing into the flash memory industry as storage demands will increase as screen resolutions go up.
Guo says Foxconn is highly interested in Toshiba's memory business and would be willing to use the same business strategy it adopted when partnering with Sharp -- keeping the business intact. Foxconn purchased Sharp in 2016 and has since begun using the business to build OLED displays, perhaps for future iPhones.
Toshiba is planning to sell a portion of its flash memory unit to raise funds to cover a significant $6.3 billion loss, with the company planning to split off the memory unit from the main business on April 1, 2017. Toshiba originally hoped to sell a minority stake in the business, but later said it would consider selling most, or all, of the new flash unit.
Apple, SK Hynix, Western Digital, and Micron Technology have also been named as parties potentially interested in acquiring Toshiba's memory business.