The following information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
April 2, 2002
IBM, Sony, SCE and Toshiba to Jointly Develop
Chip-Making Process Technology
Powerful alliance is
formed for semiconductor processes
TOKYO, JAPAN and EAST FISHKILL,
N.Y., April 2, 2002 -- In a unique collaboration, IBM,
Sony Corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Toshiba
Corporation have signed a multi-year agreement to jointly
develop advanced semiconductor technologies based on silicon-on-insulator
(SOI) and other IBM materials advances. This will lead to
the development of high-performance, low-power chips necessary
for a wide range of future electronic products - - from
digital consumer applications to supercomputers.
The team will spend several hundred million dollars over
four years to develop new process technologies for building
chips with features as small as 50 nanometers on 300 mm
wafers. Smaller features mean more can be packed on a single
chip. The parties plan to use this technology to create
system-on-chip (SoC) designs, integrating processor, memory
and communications functions, which normally are found on
separate chips within a device.
The new processes are expected to be the world's most sophisticated,
incorporating advanced chip-making materials pioneered by
IBM, such as copper wiring, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors
and "low-k" insulation. The use of new designs and materials
will be guided by the applications requirements of Sony,
one of the world's largest consumers of semiconductors.
Toshiba will contribute its high-volume manufacturing capability
and SoC technology expertise to meet targeted performance
and quality levels.
"The PC is no longer the driving force in semiconductor
innovation," said John Kelly, senior vice president and
group executive for the IBM Technology Group. "Networking
and consumer electronics applications are driving the evolution
of a new semiconductor industry -- one based on closer collaboration
with customers. This alliance is powerful because of the
talents and technologies involved; it is unique in the depth
to which the customer is involved, not just in the design
of chips for their products, but in the very way they are
"Having IBM and Toshiba's technologies with Sony's vast
experience and knowledge of the consumer market, truly makes
this alliance a winning combination," said Ken Kutaragi,
president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment and director,
Sony Corporation. "Incorporation of these cutting-edge process
technologies into various audio, visual and IT products
as well as to the computer entertainment system, is expected
to bring even higher competitive power to the entire Sony
"Technologies like SOI are essential for high-end and low-power
SoC," said Takeshi Nakagawa, corporate senior vice president
of Toshiba Corporation and president of Toshiba's Semiconductor
Company. "We expect collaboration on SOI process technology
to advance joint-development of the next generation broadband
processor, and to provide a strong underpinning to our development
of leading-edge products. We will apply SOI process technology
to broadband processor-based LSI for such applications as
a high-speed home gateway and future low-power mobile products."
In a separate agreement, IBM will transfer the latest SOI
technologies to Sony and Toshiba. The development work will
be conducted by a team of scientists and engineers from
all parties at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development
Center (SRDC) in East Fishkill, N.Y. Each party then will
have the ability to build the advanced chips in its own
manufacturing facilities, products and applications, and
for its own semiconductor business customers. A significant
portion of IBM's soon-to-be-completed, 300 mm wafer manufacturing
facility in East Fishkill will be dedicated to these new
The new alliance framework enhances Sony and IBM's existing
collaborative structure by adding the strengths of Toshiba's
versatile manufacturing expertise, as the second largest
in the semiconductor industry. Integration of the strengths
of the parties will facilitate achievement of advanced process
technologies for a broad range of products and applications.
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role
as the world's premier information technology supplier.
IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets
state-of-the-art semiconductor and interconnect technologies,
products and services. IBM makes chips for a wide range
of devices from the world's most powerful computers to the
smallest cell phones. Its superior integrated solutions
can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic
brands. More information about IBM Microelectronics can
be found at: www.chips.ibm.com.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video,
game, communications and information technology products
for the consumer and professional markets. With its music,
pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses,
Sony is uniquely positioned to be a leading personal broadband
entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated
annual sales of nearly $60 billion for the fiscal year ended
March 31, 2001. Sony's Home Page URL: www.world.sony.com.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStationR game console and PlayStationR2 computer entertainment system. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd. and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc., develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these two platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.
Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. The company's integration of these wide-ranging capabilities assures its position as a leading company in semiconductors, LCDs and other electronic devices. Toshiba has 188,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over US$47 billion. Visit Toshiba's website at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm