Toshiba has announced the inauguration of its new 12-inch NAND flash fab, dubbed Fab 4, at Toshiba's Yokkaichi operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan as the company ramps up production aiming to overtake Samsung as the biggest producer of the semiconductors next year.

The 12-inch fab, built with partner and flash memory storage card maker SanDisk, will use 56 nanometer technology at start-up, with plans to move to 43 nanometer tech by March 2008. The companies expect their newest microchip plant to process 80,000 wafers a month in July-December, but further investment could take output to 210,000 wafers per month based on future market demand.

According to researcher iSuppli, the Japanese chipmaker held 28 percent share of the global NAND flash market in the three months ended June 30, trailing Samsung's 46 percent, but the company aims for a 40 percent global market share by next year.