Report: Sony won’t continue chip JV with NEC, Toshiba

April 9, 2007 – After nearly a year working with 45nm technology partners NEC and Toshiba, Sony says it will pursue future development outside the partnership, seen as a blow to efforts to group Japan’s chipmakers together to compete against international rivals, according to a Reuters report.

In December, 10 months after deciding to pool 45nm LSI development resources, the trio unveiled details about their codevelopment of an LSI mass-production platform for the 45nm process technology, including use of a fully renovated MOSFET integration scheme, and hybrid structure with low-k film.

The initial deal between the three firms expired last month. Future work on 45nm LSIs would likely focus more on actual production, and with Sony already looking for ways to cut back chip spending over the next few years and outsource production of the next version of chips used in its PlayStation 3 gaming console, the chipmaker has decided not to renew its participation with NEC and Toshiba, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Toshiba and NEC Electronics are expected to sign a new contract to work on the next-generation chips. Instead, Sony will concentrate on digital camera sensors and chips for LCD televisions, according to the Kyodo News. Sony is already a partner within the IBM/Chartered “common platform” alliance.


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