What are your product plans for 3D NAND flash and how important is this technology for the data storage industry?
Peter Lieberwirth: 3D NAND flash memory built on Toshiba’s BiCS (Bit Cost Scalable) technology is the next very imporatnt technology step after floating gate (FG). It will play a key role in providing solutions for next generation storage requirements with respect to scalability, cost and performance.
In terms of a roadmap we expect to see today’s FG multi-level cell/triple-level cell (TLC) technology move to 3D BiCS TLC/QLC (qual-level cell) from 2017 and then, from 2019 and beyond, the emergence of ReRAM (resistive RAM).
3D NAND flash is suitable for all storage application areas such as in the datacentre, mobile, automotive,industrial and IoT. This includes all controller-based storage designs such as portable memory cards and external SSDs (solid-state drives) and embedded designs encompassing UFS/SSD, standard form factor SATA/PCIe/NVMe SSDs and flash memory modules and arrays.
What are your product plans for power IC and mosfets? Is silicon carbide important?
Peter Lieberwirth: Toshiba will continuously expand its power mosfet line-up with a particular focus on addressing the demands of industrial and automotive applications. These applications will be mainly supported by our high-voltage super-junction mosfet and our low-voltage trench technologies.
Regarding power ICs, development is focused on motor control applications.
Silicon carbide (SiC) is seen as an important future technology, which is illustrated by the fact that Toshiba has already released the second generation line-up of SiC diodes. The company is continuously working on further product developments in this area.
What are your plans for LED lighting products?
Peter Lieberwirth: The LED lighting market remains a focus area for Toshiba. We will continue to expand our line-up of mosfet products, addressing the need for very cost effective solutions and the requirement for small packages. On the control side, we offer mesh functionality with our newest line-up of Bluetooth ICs.
Will SoftBank’s acquisition of ARM have any impact on your Cortex MCU plans?
Peter Lieberwirth: No.
Which is the most important semiconductor technology for the company, moving forward?
Peter Lieberwirth: We see the world’s demand for storage capacity growing exponentially and it is our mission to provide the required technology and products.
Accordingly, one of the most important directions is to develop flash memory products with ever increasing capacities, specifically through increasing the number of layers in subsequent generations of our 3D BiCS technology.
In order to support future performance requirements of storage class memory we are also working on the R&D of resistive memory (ReRAM).
Another important direction is provided through society’s demand to minimise energy consumption. We aim to help customers with this challenge by providing products that can tackle the problem in different stages.
For instance, motor control ASSPs (application specific standard parts) and microcontrollers help to design smart control circuits, while for our power discrete product R&D minimising RDS(on) is always a key target.