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Toshiba sells Cell chip plant to Sony

Sold to Sir Howard for 400 million quid

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Toshiba has effectively sold its Cell processor factory to the CPU's co-developer.

A snip at ¥53bn (£400m/$648m), the plant, located conveniently in Sony's Nagasaki Technology Center, will belong to Sony on 1 April, provided the Japanese government is happy with the arrangement.

The plant is currently run by Nagasaki Semiconductor Manufacturing (NSM), a joint-venture between Sony and Toshiba. Sony currently holds 40 per cent of the company, split 50:50 between the Sony Group and Sony Computer Entertainment International. Toshiba has the remaining 60 per cent.

Once the deal is done, NSM will be closed down. The plant will continue to operate, under the auspices of Sony Semiconductor Kyushu.

The plant produces Cell CPUs and the RSX graphics chip also used in the PlayStation 3. But it also makes CMOS image sensors of the kind used in cameras and phones. Sony said it wants to increase image sensor production at the facility, but it's not known if this will impact Cell output. ®

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