Locked: Sony abandoning Cell development

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Following reports of Sony's intent to sell its Cell chip plants, the company also appears to be backing away from its joint Cell R&D project, according to a Japanese paper.

Posted by James Brightman on Friday, November 09, 2007

Last month Sony confirmed that it reached a preliminary agreement with Toshiba to sell off its production facilities for advanced chips (including the Cell in PS3). The sale of Sony's semiconductor business to Toshiba is estimated to be worth about 100 billion yen ($861 million).

Now, however, the word from the Nikkei Business Daily in Japan (via Solid State Technology) is not only is Sony selling its Cell production facilities, but the electronics company is also planning to withdraw from its R&D project with IBM and Toshiba, which sought to reduce the Cell chip to 32nm and below. IBM and Toshiba are expected to carry on the project, though.

In addition, Sony intends to cancel all capital investments in production of 45nm and later Cell chips. The current Cell chips being made for PS3 are using a 65nm process, SCE head Kaz Hirai confirmed. Rather than pursue Cell development, Sony is planning to strengthen its work in CCD and CMOS image sensors.

Sony executive deputy president Yutaka Nakagawa explained to the Nikkei that the move is part of Sony's "asset light" strategy to end chip manufacturing investments after 65nm. The focus will switch to design over manufacturing.

"We plan to minimize the investment that is required to make packaged IC chips smaller," said Nakagawa. "Manufacturing cutting-edge packaged IC chips is not considered as important as it once was. The most important thing is what type of chip a company decides to produce, so we will increase the number of designers depending on the chip's purpose. The fact that we will stop operating an advanced chip plant does not mean that we are downgrading the importance of the chip business."

He added, "About 100 employees who worked on designing the Cell and other advanced microprocessors have already been reassigned to divisions where manufacturing technologies for image sensors and analog IC chips are being developed."


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This is old news, they said this awhile back.

No, the sale of production is old news. The change in development is recent news.

Cool then, I overlooked when they said they are now developing 45nm Cell chips.


But Cell has been in development since 2001!!!!!!!!!!!


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They don't want to spend more money in da cell???

By me:

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"Since you can´t understand ... there is no point to taking you seriously."

^Uh....I guess....

Aww, no more t3h Cell jokes It will be remembered...

Well it doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out what a disasterous move investing in the Cell was. It's too late to get back the money they've spent on it, but cutting their losses and burying any fantasies of the PS4 using a bigger, better Cell is the best thing they could do at this point.

Sony has been making so many smart moves lately, that they'll probably be able to salvage the PS3 into 30M+ territory.

sweet jesus you guys are lacking knowledge. They are cutting DEVELOPMENT ie manufacturing costs they arent cutting RESEARCH ie making the damn thing.


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