- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. will announce today they plan to invest $700 million in a joint venture in Manassas, Va.

The new technology company they plan to form will employ 600 people and operate out of Dominion Semiconductor LLC.

"It's a great thing for our area," said state Sen. Charles Colgan, Prince William Democrat. "It certainly adds to the high-tech reputation of the area."

Dominion Semiconductor, which employs 900 people now, opened in September 1997 and began as a joint venture of Toshiba and International Business Machines Corp. IBM has agreed to sell its investment in the company to Toshiba in a transaction expected to be complete this year.

The main facility at Dominion is a $1.7 billion semiconductor chip fabricating plant on Godwin Drive in Manassas and the site of a former IBM chip plant that closed in 1992.

Employees there make 64-megabit random access memory chips for use in computers and other electronic products.

Last October, Toshiba said it decided to begin production of high-density gigabit flash memory chips at Dominion, adding that production would add 250 more jobs.

But they didn't mention a joint venture and the number of employees has far surpassed the earlier estimate.

The flash memory chips allow computers and other devices to hold information while they are turned off.

Flash memory chip production is expected to generate annual sales of $1 billion, Toshiba officials said last year.

Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III plans to hold a press conference at Manassas City Hall this morning to announce the joint venture between Toshiba and Sunnyvale, Cal.-based SanDisk.

SanDisk makes digital imaging and audio storage products.

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