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Joint venture to build PlayStation chips

Joint venture to build PlayStation chips

Toshiba, Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment plan to form a US$924 million joint venture to manufacture high-performance computer chips, including those that run Sony's PlayStation game console.

The chips will be manufactured at the Sony Semiconductor Kyushu's Nagasaki Technology Centre. Toshiba separately agreed to buy the 300mm wafer line installed at the centre for ¥90 billion ($831 million U.S.).

In a statement, Toshiba said the joint venture will first use a 65-nanometer (nm) manufacturing process with plans to move to a 45nm process. Toshiba did not disclose a time frame for the migration.

The joint venture, which has not yet been named, will be launched on April 1. Under the terms of the agreement, Toshiba will own 60 percent of the joint venture, while Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment will each hold a 20 percent share.

Last November, Sony announced it was pulling out of plans to take part in 32nm chip research programme with partners IBM and Toshiba. The initial plan had been to develop the manufacturing technology for producing microchips with circuitry of 32nm or less.

Later that same month, Toshiba and NEC Electronics announced plans to jointly develop 32nm chips. The companies have been working together to build 45nm-process technology since February 2006.


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