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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Toshiba to Develop Sony's PS3 Cell Processor

Toshiba, Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) today announced the formation of a new joint venture among the companies for the production of high-performance semiconductors, including chips for PlayStation 3 entertainment system.

Sony said on Wednesday it will sell its microchip production facilities in western Japan to Toshiba for 90 billion yen ($835 million), in their latest move to focus on their core businesses.

The equipment will be used by their semiconductor joint venture that will make high-performance Cell chips and RSX graphic chips, both used in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, as well as other microchips that go into Toshiba products.

Manufacturing will start with 65nm process, and the joint venture will promote migration to 45nm process mass production, in cooperation with Toshiba's system LSI manufacturing operation in Oita, while also working to achieve advances in manufacturing technologies and efficiencies.

The venture will be established on April 1.

Sony, which is focusing on image sensor chips for digital cameras and pulling away from heavy investments for cutting-edge chip production equipment, said in October it would sell production facilities for making key microchips used in the PS3 to Toshiba, but the price has been unavailable.

The announcement on the selling price comes on the heels of Toshiba's decision on Tuesday to abandon its HD DVD high-definition DVD format, ending a prolonged battle with the Sony-led Blu-ray camp.

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