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Toshiba moves some memory device assembly offshore

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics conglomerate Toshiba Corp 6502.T said on Tuesday it planned to start producing solid-state drives (SSD) in the Philippines to cut costs and increase output.

Toshiba, the world's No. 2 maker of NAND flash memory after Samsung Electronics Co 005930.KS, is betting on strong growth for NAND-based SSD memory devices, used in laptop PCs.

Data centers and other places that now rely heavily on hard disks are also expected to increase their use of SSDs, a promising alternative to some hard-disk drives because they are more shock-resistant and consume less energy.

Toshiba plans to boost SSD output 15-fold over the next two years and aims to take 30 percent of the world market for the devices by the end of March 2011.

Research firm iSuppli has forecast the global SSD market to jump to $12.3 billion in 2012 from $84 million last year.

The Nikkei business daily reported Toshiba aimed to generate 100 billion yen ($1 billion) in SSD sales in the year starting April next year, more than 10 times the current figure.

Toshiba spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida said company had not announced a sales target.

She said Toshiba plans to shift some SSD assembly to the Philippines from a domestic plant in the April-June quarter.

The Philippine plant will initially make 64- to 512-gigabyte SSDs for use in notebook computers and other devices, using a 43-nanometre line width.

Toshiba shares fell 2.6 percent to 221 yen, underperforming a 0.4 percent slide in the benchmark Nikkei average .N225.

($1=98.78 Yen)

Reporting by Sachi Izumi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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