Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sony said to sell chip lines to Toshiba

Japan's electronics giant Sony will sell production facilities for advanced chips to its rival Toshiba for nearly 100 billion yen (870 million dollars), a newspaper said Saturday.

With the planned sales, Sony will effectively stop making advanced chips, and instead focus on such areas as audio-visual equipment, the Nikkei business daily said.

The two companies are expected to finalise the deal in a few months, the newspaper said.

Under the plan, Sony will sell the system chip fabrication lines at Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corp., a chip production unit of the company, in western Japan, the newspaper said.

The deal will likely include lines for fabricating the Cell, which Sony co-developed with Toshiba and IBM for its PlayStation 3 game console, as well as image-processing chips for game consoles and camcorders, it said.

The equipment is to remain inside Sony's plant, with the ownership to be transferred to Toshiba, while Sony will likely continue employing those currently working on the lines, Nikkei said.

Sony and Toshiba plan to set up a joint venture to manage the system chips lines, it said.

Through the planned purchase, Toshiba, which currently ranks third in system chips sales, hopes to boost sales and catch up with foreign rivals such as Intel and South Korea's Samsung, it added.


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