Toshiba and Sony find common ground over semiconductors

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Toshiba and Sony find common ground over semiconductors

A day after Toshiba announced the end of its HD DVD format drivers, the Japanese hardware vendor has signed an agreement with former format player rival Sony to form a joint venture for the production of semiconductors, including products for Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCEI) PlayStation computer entertainment systems.

Despite waging war against each other over format players, Toshiba and Sony started discussing the possibility of entering into a joint venture last year. The agreement also follows on from an October 18 2007 memorandum of understanding between the parties.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement the joint venture, to be named at a later date, will start operation from April 1 2008 in Nagasaki Technology Centre of Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation (SCK).

It will be 60 percent owned by Toshiba, and Sony and SCEI will each take a 20 percent stake.

Within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, Toshiba will acquire from Sony its 300mm wafer line installed in SCK’s Nagasaki Technology Centre Fab2and SCK for approximately 90 billion yen. Details of the operation including administrative and operation organisation will be finalised by the start date.

Semiconductors to be manufactured by the joint venture include; “Cell Broadband Engine” (Cell/B.E.) processor, the “RSX” graphics engine; and other Semi conductors for Sony Group; as well as Toshiba’s SoCs (System on Chip) for applications in digital consumer products.

Manufacturing will start with 65nm process and the joint venture will promote migration to 45nm process mass production, in cooperation with Toshiba’s semiconductor production system.

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