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The Cell/B.E. production will now be in the hands of a Toshiba-Sony joint venture  (Source: DailyTech)
Toshiba, Sony and SCEI sign a joint venture deal in production of PlayStation 3 processors

Last month, a report from a Japanese news publication claimed Sony will sell its chip making business to Toshiba. Specifically, the facilities used to manufacture the Cell Broadband Engine – the CPU powering every PlayStation 3 console – would be sold to Toshiba in a deal that would complete sometime in 2008.

The day following the initial report, both Toshiba and Sony publically denied such a deal. Sony’s been restructuring its chip business for months, but Sony spokesman Tomio Takizawa said “nothing concrete has been decided,” regarding its Cell Broadband Engine plant. Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Omori also said nothing has been decided on such a deal.

Today, just a month after the initial report, Toshiba and Sony announced intent to establish a joint venture that will produce high-performance semiconductors, which not only includes the Cell Broadband Engine but also the RSX graphics engine. The deal also includes the transfer to Toshiba from Sony Group the 300mm wafer line fabrication facilities installed in Fab 2 of Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Nagasaki Technology Center (SKC) by the end of March 2008.

The new joint venture company, which has yet to be formally named, has a planned establishment date of April 1, 2008. Ownership of the joint venture will comprise of 60 percent Toshiba Corp., 20 percent Sony Corp., and 20 percent SCEI. Planned capitalization for the venture will be approximately 100 million yen ($857,000).

According to the joint statement, the facilities will continue to use the 300mm wafer line fabrication, with focus on 65nm process semiconductors. Toshiba and Sony Group will together target migration to 45nm process mass production, which will also logically extend to chips used in the SCEI’s game console. Current PlayStation 3 chips are built on the 90nm process.

Even with Toshiba’s majority control of the new company, the manufacturing plant will still serve regular orders for the production of chips used by Sony’s games machine. Toshiba says it will also use the facilities to expand and enhance its system LSI business.

The joint venture will move Sony back closer to its core business of consumer electronics, while Toshiba will gain another foothold on the semiconductor business. Toshiba recently announced a new chip called SpursEngine, which is based on the Cell architecture that is aimed primarily at graphics applications. The new facilities opened to Toshiba give the company greater flexibilities in its chip design and production, such as in the case of the SpursEngine.

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Sony denied this
By BladeVenom on 10/18/2007 10:22:25 PM , Rating: 5
You know something is true when Sony denies it.

RE: Sony denied this
By justinmcg67 on 10/18/2007 11:29:36 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Sony denied this
By ninjit on 10/18/2007 11:35:20 PM , Rating: 5

God I hate stupid internet acronyms.

But that's just IMHO FYI.

And BTW, justinmcg67, you didn't "quote" anything.

RE: Sony denied this
By Spivonious on 10/19/2007 8:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Is the MF the Samuel L. Jackson MF?

RE: Sony denied this
By Hypernova on 10/19/2007 5:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
Quite frankly I'm very annoyed by this kind of crap and SONY seems to do it more then any other company. Lying with a straight face when everything suggests otherwise is just wrong. Same thing happened with 40GB PS3 too.

RE: Sony denied this
By Master Kenobi on 10/19/2007 6:24:57 AM , Rating: 1
Yea well if Sony would just go out and hire a plumber to fix all the leaks in that company maybe news wouldn't break long before they are ready to break it.

RE: Sony denied this
By Bioniccrackmonk on 10/19/2007 9:27:57 AM , Rating: 2
Name one large corporation that sells user based items to millions of people around the world that doesn't have leaks. Sony isn't the only one with this problem.

RE: Sony denied this
By OxBow on 10/19/2007 11:05:25 AM , Rating: 3
They didn't outright lie. They merely said nothing was decided. Most people took this to mean that they were in negotiations. To claim otherwise, either through and outright denial which would have been a bald faced lie, or through open acknowledgment would have caused all sorts of legal difficulties related to other contracts. As such, a little "spin" in this case is expected. Obfuscation being the name of the game. If you can't read between the lines, then stop taking everything at face value.

RE: Sony denied this
By afkrotch on 10/19/2007 11:32:31 PM , Rating: 3
God forbid if Microsoft were to lie about the Xbox 360 not having high hardware failure rates. Oh wait...they did.

Simply put up with the crap. All companies lie. All do it often. All of them will keep doing it. Only difference is, when your company is popular, you get the chance to lie a lot more often.

Sony and Toshiba: Business Partners?
By stevenplatt on 10/18/2007 10:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sony is making a smart move considering they've been loosing so much money manufacturing the expensive components that go into its gaming consoles. Who woulda thought that they would brocker such a deal with Toshiba, who is their main competitor in the HD playback war. These very facilities could end up producing silicon that powers Toshiba HD DVD players.

By cochy on 10/18/2007 10:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
Toshiba has been a Cell development partner since the beginning. So no real surprises.

RE: Sony and Toshiba: Business Partners?
By Zelvek on 10/18/2007 11:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sony is making a smart move considering they've been loosing so much money manufacturing the expensive components that go into its gaming consoles.

I don't really see any difference instead of losing money producing components they will lose it buying the components. Toshiba will also want a profit so it could cost more (although they maybe sold at cost seeing as how sony is a partner).

By afkrotch on 10/19/2007 11:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
Unless part of the deal was lower cost components. If Sony can get the chips for less than the cost of running the place, then it really is a better deal.

Toshiba also makes out as they can use the facility for more than just producing Cell chips.

RE: Sony and Toshiba: Business Partners?
By ZipSpeed on 10/18/2007 11:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
If Cell ever makes it into HD-DVD players... oh the irony. But we can also think of it this way: If Cell does become used in HD-DVD players and the HD-DVD becomes the victor of the format war, at least Sony will have quick accessibility to produce their own branded HD-DVD machine.

RE: Sony and Toshiba: Business Partners?
By Bioniccrackmonk on 10/19/2007 9:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
With MS holding the patents to HD DVD Sony will not have quick access to produce their own players.

By afkrotch on 10/19/2007 11:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
Cept that Toshiba also holds the patents for HD-DVD.

Here's irony for ya. Toshiba helped to create the cell processor, they will now be manufacturing the cell processor, and it's all being used in a PS3, which can play blu-ray.

By Murst on 10/19/2007 12:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
Who woulda thought that they would brocker such a deal with Toshiba, who is their main competitor in the HD playback war

Sony and Toshiba have been competitors for much longer than HD formats have existed. Successful companies don't make decisions based on emotions - they go for whatever makes most money for their shareholders.

This is a great move by Sony. They really need to shift their focus to other divisions in the company.

Toshiba plan to use the Cell for what ?
By zpdixon on 10/19/2007 9:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba says it will also use the facilities to expand and enhance its system LSI business.

Does someone know what devices Toshiba is planning to use the Cell for ?

By afkrotch on 10/20/2007 12:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba has announced it's Open Connected Media Platform, which would allow use of Cell in tvs, dvrs, digital media servers, and digital media players. Doesn't need to have cell to use OCMP, but they hope it'll help the cell's adoption rate.

As of right now, I think they are just working on using Cell in HDTVs.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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