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Sony quits 32nm chip production project

Wants to focus on products not processes

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Sony is to leave the development of 32nm chip-making technology to its PlayStation 3 processor partners IBM and Toshiba, it said today. The move is the latest step in the Japanese giant's attempt to narrow the focus of its chip business.

So while it's not going to working on ways to make 32nm chips, it will be designing semiconductors that will be fabbed at that size - or node, as it's known in the trade. Sony needs to be sure future PS3 Cell chips do what it needs them to do, which is why last month it stated it will continue to work with IBM on the development of 45nm chips.

But production is out - hence the effective sale of the factory that it uses to punch out Cell and RSX graphics chips to Toshiba in the form of a new joint-venture firm that will begin operating next April.

Sony's latest announcement makes perfect sense in the light of this shift toward products and away from processes. Best leave that to the specialists, no?

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