Press Releases

SanDisk Significantly Broadens Product Line; Introduces High-Capacity, NAND Flash Memory Chips

Dec 12, 2000

Chips Are Designed For Several Fast Growing Consumer Electronics Markets
Including Cell Phones, MP3 Players And Handheld Computers

SUNNYVALE, CA, Dec. 12, 2000 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) will significantly broaden its product line today by introducing high capacity flash memory chips targeted at cell phones, Internet music players, handheld computers and other fast-growing consumer electronics products. The 256 megabit (Mbit) and 512Mbit NAND devices are the first NAND flash memory products introduced by SanDisk. They will be manufactured for SanDisk through its FlashVision Joint Venture with Toshiba Corp.

NAND is a widely-used type of flash memory for high capacity data storage applications. NAND flash was invented by Toshbia Corp. and became available to SanDisk through a strategic corporate agreement signed this year between SanDisk and Toshiba. NAND flash memory has much lower power dissipation, lower cost per bit and higher capacity than the standard NOR flash commonly used for code store application. NAND flash has gained wide acceptance in embedded storage consumer electronics applications. For example, numerous MP3 music players come with a 256 or 512Mbit NAND chip embedded on the motherboard. In the future this type of flash storage is expected to penetrate major new applications for embedded storage, such as future generation cell phones, Internet appliances and set-top boxes. It is expected that all of these represent major new market opportunities for SanDisk in the coming years.

The chips will be sold as TSOP (thin small outline package) devices. TSOPs are widely used for packaging embedded flash memory in popular consumer electronics products.

Ed Cuellar, SanDisk marketing director, said, "These NAND flash chips represent the most advanced and cost-effective flash component on the market today. The NAND devices have been widely adopted by systems designers. The combination of SanDisk's flash cards and these new embedded flash components gives our customers a strong competitive advantage. We are very excited about the new market opportunities that these products are expected to open for SanDisk." 

Alan Niebel, managing director of Web-Feet Research, Monterey, CA, said that "SanDisk is entering the market for discrete flash components at a time when that market is showing enormous growth." Web-Feet concluded that the worldwide market for flash components in 1999 (excluding revenue from flash card sales) was $4.56 billion. 

SanDisk will start sampling its new TSOP chips this month with production scheduled for January, 2001. Pricing, in 1000 unit quantities, is expected to be: 256Mbit, $58, and 512Mbit, $108. The 256Mbit chip translates into 32 megabytes (MB) while the 512Mbit chip is equal to 64MB.

SanDisk also extended its penetration into the embedded flash market last month when it introduced TriFlash, a small-size embedded flash memory device with a built-in controller. TriFlash is easy and simple to design into virtually any microprocessor/microcontroller platform. The architecture of TriFlash allows for the seamless integration of embedded flash with removable MultiMediaCards or Secure Digital Cards for incremental storage.

SanDisk Corporation manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including the ability of the company to manufacture these products in volume, risks associated with introducing new technologies, competition from other technologies, timely and uninterrupted supply of products and materials from various suppliers and third party manufacturers as well as other factors. Other risks for SanDisk include those items described under the caption "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurances that the NAND flash component announced in this release will be widely accepted in its target markets. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.

All trade names are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.


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