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IBM, Sony, Toshiba Extend Partnership to Research Small Chip Designs

The partnership that produced the Cell microprocssor is expected to announce a new initiative to research small-scale chip designs in consumer devices.

A partnership among IBM Corp., Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp., which previously produced the Cell microprocessor, is being extended for five more years, the Associated Press reported. The extension of the partnership is intended to perform work on advanced chip designs at extremely small scales.

According the Associated Press report, the companies planned to announce the partnership extension today. It is expected that the next joint research project will work with chips that are smaller than 32 nanometers.

Because modern-day chips can feature components as small as 65-nanometers, the microprocessing industry must find ways to increase performance of smaller chips.

Lisa Su, a vice president in IBM's semiconductor research and development center, told the Associated Press that the partnership is different than an already existing partnership between her company and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. because the partnership with Sony and Toshiba will leverage those two companies' expertise in using chips specifically for consumer devices.