Toshiba To Invest $1.9 Billion Into Its Chip Manufacturing Business

The television may not be what it once was for a mainstay like Toshiba, but the company's still investing in other growth areas. Just this week, it announced plans to plow 200 billion yen (around $1.9 billion) into its chip business beyond the current year. The outfit's CEO, Hisao Tanaka, confessed as much during an opening ceremony surrounding its chip fabrication plant in Yokkaichi, Japan.

In case the financial sum wasn't a clue, Tanaka said that "boosting sales and profits" in the company's semiconductor unit was being made an even greater priority than becoming the world's leader in NAND flash memory (for reference, Samsung currently holds the crown there).

Toshiba's Fab No. 5 plant was built with help from partner SanDisk, with the two deciding to "split the cost evenly," and that most of the $1.9 billion investment would be spent at the new Yokkaichi. The investment is a telling sign of what's around the bend for legacy companies such as Toshiba. With certain businesses (TV and PC come to mind) sagging, these firms are being forced to shift R&D dollars to silicon. Instead of selling new displays and laptops, the future of Toshiba largely sits in NAND flash and chips for mobile devices the world over.