Sony, Toshiba Form Joint Venture

Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. signed an agreement to form a joint venture to start making advanced chips in April.

TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. announced Wednesday that they have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to start making advanced chips in April.
Toshiba is paying 90 billion yen ($835 million) for Sony's high-performance semiconductor operations under the accord that was first announced last October.
The two companies said they had stepped up the deal to form a semiconductor joint venture owned 60 percent by Toshiba, with 40 percent equally split by Sony and its game unit Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
The signing of the agreement comes a day after Toshiba said it would quit its HD DVD business, handing Sony's Blu-ray disc technology the victory in the battle to establish an industry standard for high-definition video. Toshiba said Tuesday it would ramp up its chip operations rapidly, an apparent bid to soften the impact of that loss.
Toshiba is buying Sony's wafer production lines for advanced ''Cell'' microprocessors in the southern prefecture of Nagasaki to establish the venture. The chips are used in Sony's PlayStation game consoles as well as in Toshiba's digital consumer goods.
Toshiba and Sony said they plan to complete the transaction by the end of March and Toshiba will then lease the facilities to the joint venture, which will start operating April 1.
Sony announced in October a basic agreement to sell the chip facilities to Toshiba as part of an effort to streamline its operations.
Toshiba said it will instead step up investment in new NAND-type flash memory plants in Japan together with U.S. partner SanDisc Corp.
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