Toshiba borgs into IBM's 32nm alliance
Intel stays outside the tent
Toshiba confirmed yesterday that it had joined a 32-nanometre chip development group led by IBM and made up of a number of key industry players minus top dog Intel.
The alliance has been formed over the past few months in an attempt to push down spiralling development costs in the switch to the new geometery, which are proving increasingly difficult for any lone chip-maker to stomach.
Toshiba is the latest firm to climb on board alongside AMD, Samsung Electronics, Freescale, Germany's Infineon Technologies AG and Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing.
The seven firms will work together over the next three years to design and develop manufacturing technologies that shrink the average circuit feature to 32-nanometres. It's fair to say the alliance is relatively loose - they haven't even bothered to think up a grand-sounding name for the group.
The industry is only just beginning to ship 45-nanometre chips in volume, but the shift to a new geometry is always a long-haul.
Intel, which is expected to begin production of 32-nanometre chips in 2009, remains notably absent from the alliance.
Presumably the chip giant is happy to shoulder any development costs on its own, while the combined group will doubtless be hoping to take a bite out of Intel's hefty market share. ®
I'm not suprised that they haven't come up with a group name. You try coming up with a name that encapsulates the idea that all those in the group have much smaller ones than those not in it without any scope for mirthsome double-entendres......
Also missing from the list....
Sun, FSC, and nVidia. Maybe Sun can claim Rock is too different for a there to be a point in joining, but then surely Sun and/or Fujitsu need some 35nm knowledge if one or other of them really intends to make a follow on to SPARC64.....? And nVidia may not be in because AMD = ATi, but nVidia are currently at 65nm with their cores and the new Radeons are 55nm already. If AMD also get the benefit of stealing a march on chipset design then they could get a nice lead over nVidia in graphics and chipsets.
What you give is what you get...?
"investing a lot of money is a way to bankrupt your oponents... just ask the USSR.."
Yes, that's more than likely a lesson well learned and etched into their DNA/silicon. Makes you wonder if SANTA is bringing them a special present this year for all of their past suffering.
I wonder who's investing in what and bankrupting the sub-prime dodgy credit brokers.
Why should Intel join
There really is no reason for Intel to join. If they plan to actually ship product in 2009, that means that they are already making trial runs.. so they do have the process NOW.
If they joined, thay had almost nothing to gain and a lot to loose.. and remember this is a capital intensive game: investing a lot of money is a way to bankrupt your oponents... just ask the USSR..