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Sony sells $835m PS3 CPU plant to Toshiba

Consolation prize?

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Sony today re-iterated its plan to sell its Cell processor chip factory to Toshiba, which will pay ¥90bn ($835m) for the facility.

Toshiba's buying the plant in Western Japan, but it'll be run by a joint-venture co-owned by the two giants. The JV was announced in October 2007, part of Sony's plan to exit the costly chip business.

The JV is due to be incorporated on 1 April, on which date it will use the plant acquired by Toshiba to punch out Cell CPUs and the RSX graphics chips - the GPU developed by Nvidia and, like Cell, used in the PlayStation 3.

Sony's partnership with Toshiba over the Cell chip is in stark contrast to the two firms' opposition over next-gen optical disc formats. Yesterday, Toshiba said it was ending production of HD DVD hardware, allowing the Sony-back Blu-ray Disc to claim victory in the format war.

Toshiba yesterday said it would focus on products like Cell and solid-state storage in the post-HD DVD world.

Toshiba plans to use Cell in future HD TVs. This past January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, it demo'd an LCD TV equipped with Cell for image processing, including decoding multiple HD video streams for picture-in-picture displays.

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