Sony hands Cell production to Toshiba

Sony hands Cell production to Toshiba

New joint venture to produce high performance semiconductors

Toshiba, Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) have announced plans to establish a joint venture producing high-performance semiconductors.

The partnership will see Sony transfer the 300mm wafer line fabrication facilities installed in Fab 2 of its Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Nagasaki Technology Center to Toshiba by the end of March 2008.

Production on the line will be operated by the joint venture following the transfer, including the Cell Broadband engine and the RSX graphics engine used in the PlayStation 3.

The joint venture will let Toshiba expand and enhance its large-scale integration business with increased order volumes and regular orders for chips for the PlayStation.

This means that Sony will be able to grow its PlayStation business thanks to the process migration of high-performance semiconductors.

Toshiba and Sony Group have forged a partnership in the development and production of high-performance semiconductors for game consoles, including the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.

Both companies expect the new joint venture to build on the existing partnership forged in the development and production of high-performance semiconductors for game consoles.

The fabrication facilities that Toshiba will acquire from Sony Group will initially focus on the production of 65nm process semiconductors.

Both companies will pool resources on the development of and migration to 45nm process mass production.

Toshiba will appoint the chairman and chief executive and will have a 60 per cent stake in the company, while the remainder will be split equally between Sony and SCEI, which will appoint the chief operating officer and president.

The two firms also signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to transfer Sony's assets to Toshiba from the joint venture company Oita TS Semiconductor Corporation.

OTSS was set up in 1999 to manufacture semiconductors for the PlayStation 2, and is due to expire in March 2008.