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$1bn joint venture to make PS3 chips

Toshiba and Sony sign new partnership

Toshiba, Sony Corp and Sony Computer Entertainment are setting up a $924m joint venture to develop computer chips, including those that run Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) console.

The chips will be manufactured at Sony Semiconductor's Nagasaki Technology Center. Toshiba said the joint venture will first use a 65-nanometre (nm) manufacturing process with plans to move to a 45nm process. Toshiba did not disclose a time frame for the migration.

The joint venture, which has not yet been named, will launch on April 1. Under the terms of the agreement, Toshiba will own 60 percent of the joint venture, while Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment will each hold a 20 percent share.

Last November, Sony announced it was pulling out of plans to take part in 32nm chip research program with partners IBM and Toshiba. The initial plan had been to develop the manufacturing technology for producing microchips with circuitry of 32nm or less.

Later that same month, Toshiba and NEC announced plans to jointly develop 32nm chips. The companies have been working together to build 45nm-process technology since February 2006.

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