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another veiled PS4 announcement: IBM-Sony-Toshiba Broaden and Extend Successful Semiconductor Techno

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by NV55, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. NV55

    NV55 Guest

    Keep in mind that when CELL was first announced in March 2001, they did
    not say it was for PS3, even though most agreed that it would be, and
    it was.

    So now, 5 years later, we are continuing to see public announcements of
    chip-development and partnerships for the next-next generation. Anyone
    who does not understand this is mainly about PlayStation4, is just
    silly -- btw this is not the first PS4-related announcement, only the

    Last year, Sony told everyone they're working with Nvidia on a graphics
    roadmap, and that RSX (PS3 GPU) is the start of that roadmap.
    Obviously they have some ideas on what PS4 graphics will be like, even
    if the PS4 GPU is not yet being made, early R&D is being planned and
    worked on.

    okay, now to the latest (veiled) PS4


    IBM, Sony, Toshiba Broaden and Extend Successful Semiconductor
    Technology Alliance
    Agreement Now Includes Early-Stage Research on Critical Emerging
    Technologies Targeted at 32 Nanometer (nm) Generation and Beyond

    TOKYO, JAPAN and ARMONK, NY - January 12, 2006 - IBM, Sony Corporation
    and Toshiba today announced they have begun a new, five year phase of
    their joint technology development alliance.

    As part of this broad semiconductor research and development alliance,
    the three companies will work together on fundamental research related
    to advanced process technologies at 32 nanometers and beyond. The
    agreement will help enable the three companies to more rapidly
    investigate, identify and commercialize new technologies for consumer
    and other applications.

    Over the last five years Sony Corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment
    Inc., Toshiba and IBM have collaborated on the "Cell"
    microprocessor design, and its underlying SOI (silicon-on-insulator)
    process technologies in 90 and 65 nanometer.

    "This is a winning combination," said Masashi Muromachi, president
    & chief executive officer of the Semiconductor Company at Toshiba
    Corporation. "With Toshiba's cutting-edge process technology and
    manufacturing capabilities, Sony's various semiconductor technologies
    and deep knowledge of consumer markets and IBM's state-of-the-art
    material technology, we can anticipate breakthrough process
    technologies for the 32-nanometer generation and beyond. Toshiba will
    apply these advances to assuring continued leadership in cutting-edge
    process technology and the accelerated development of essential devices
    for the age of ubiquitous connectivity."

    "The extension of the IBM, Sony and Toshiba relationship to
    fundamental research is extremely promising," said Kenshi Manabe,
    president of semiconductor business unit, EVP and Corporate Executive
    of Sony Corporation. "This joint development project will help
    accelerate the cycle from fundamental research to commercialization
    based on detailed feasibility studies of potential technologies, device
    structures, innovative materials, and unique processing tools."

    "By extending this relationship to the next-generation of process
    technologies and deepening our partnership at the research level, we
    expect to increase the pace of development for major technology
    advances," said Lisa Su, vice president, Semiconductor Research and
    Development Center, IBM Systems & Technology Group.

    Research and development will take place at IBM's Thomas J. Watson
    Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., the Center for Semiconductor
    Research at Albany NanoTech, and at IBM's 300 millimeter manufacturing
    facility in East Fishkill.



    IBM, Sony Extend Cell Chip Development

    By Alexei Oreskovic
    1/12/2006 1:00 AM EST

    The Cell processor has yet to make its long-awaited real-world debut,
    but the trio of companies that developed it are extending their
    alliance to develop new versions of the chip.

    IBM Sony and Toshiba announced Thursday that they have renewed their
    semiconductor development collaboration for another five years, through

    Under the agreement, the three companies will collaborate on future
    versions of the Cell microprocessor to be based on 32-nanometer
    processing technology. The current Cell relies on 90-nanometer
    technology and the existing road map for the processor goes only as far
    as 65 nanometers.

    The collaboration also will explore the use of new types of
    semiconductor materials and other underlying technologies, which could
    lead to new chips and products beyond the Cell.

    "We're looking for the next big processor breakthrough," said Lisa Su,
    vice president of IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center.
    The latest phase of the alliance will put a great deal of emphasis on
    early-stage research, whereas the previous effort focused more on
    development, said Su.

    With the costs of developing and manufacturing cutting-edge chips
    becoming increasingly expensive, the companies' decision to continue
    pooling their resources is not altogether surprising. A number of
    high-tech firms have entered similar types of arrangements, including
    Intel and Micron which in November announced a joint venture to develop
    flash memory chips dubbed IM Flash.

    Yet the renewed commitment to the Cell comes before the chip has
    actually had a chance to prove its mettle in the real world. Sony's
    PlayStation 3 console, which will be the Cell's first -- and so far
    only -- major showcase, is not expected to be available until sometime
    this spring.

    "So far, what IBM, Sony and Toshiba have produced is an interesting
    chip with a lot of promise, but at this point not much utility," says
    Insight64 analyst Nathan Brookwood.

    The Cell has generated a lot of industry buzz due to its innovative
    architecture, which features a 64-bit PowerPC chip as its main engine,
    along with up to eight specialized co-processors. The parallel
    processing capabilities inherent in this design should allow the Cell
    to excel at graphic-intensive applications like video games.

    According to Brookwood, this unusual architecture also means that
    software programmers need to reconfigure their applications to take
    full advantage of the Cell's parallel processing capabilities. "Not all
    applications lend themselves to that," said Brookwood.

    In addition to video games, IBM has indicated that the Cell is
    well-suited to higher-end, number-crunching tasks like weather
    forecasting. In June, Mercury Computer Systems announced it will offer
    a Cell-based blade product for use in aerospace and medical imaging

    But in announcing the latest phase of their collaboration, the Cell's
    creators seemed to signal that the chip's focus going forward will be
    aimed at mass-market, consumer entertainment applications.

    According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, consumers are now
    responsible for more than half of all chip purchases. Companies like
    Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor which make chips used in
    cell phones and other electronic gadgets, have enjoyed brisk sales of

    IBM's Su said the Cell's consumer focus will not be exclusive.

    "We're focusing on high-volume consumer [applications] because we think
    that's a growth area," said IBM's Su. "But the technology is very
    broad, so I would expect to see it applicable in many different



    Toward the Chips of Tomorrow
    IBM, Toshiba, and Sony -- the trio that developed the revolutionary
    Cell chip -- are banding together in an effort to keep the
    breakthroughs coming

    It takes a ton of money and brainpower to keep the tech industry
    chugging along -- which explains a Jan. 12 announcement by heavyweights
    Sony, Toshiba, and IBM that they'll jointly develop the next
    generation of semiconductor technology. Advertisement

    The threesome had worked together over the past five years to bring out
    Cell, the revolutionary new chip designed from the ground up for
    multimedia applications running on networks. That chip, which cost them
    $400 million to bring to market, is expected to see action this spring
    with the introduction of Sony's PlayStation 3 video-game console (see
    BW Online, 12/22/05, "Sony: Shooting From the Chip?").

    SHRINKING CHIPS. Now the partners jointly plan to develop breakthrough
    semiconductor designs and materials that will enable the next
    generation of Cell processors -- plus other chips -- to fit on
    ever-smaller pieces of silicon. The work will happen at IBM's Yorktown
    Heights Research Center and at its advanced chip-fabrication plant and
    the government-backed Albany Nanotech Center both in New York. "We're
    doing fundamental research," says Lisa Su, vice-president for
    semiconductor R&D at IBM. "People don't know how to do this yet."

    Analysts hailed the announcement as an important event in the annals of
    the tech industry. They expect the partners to spend several hundred
    million dollars, at least, over the next five years.

    "This is the first public commitment by anybody in the world to
    32-nanometer technology," says Richard Doherty, director of the market
    research firm Envisioneering Group. Today, most chipmakers are using
    90-nanometer designs -- meaning the width of the smallest circuit wire
    is 90 nanometers, a fraction of the width of a human hair.

    KEEPING PACE. Chip giant Intel is confident that it will stay ahead
    of the Cell trio with each successive generation of technology. As the
    world's No. 1 chipmaker, it has already begun volume manufacturing at
    65 nanometers and is building two new $3 billion fabs for 45-nanometer
    production. The first Cell chips are expected to be 90-nanometer
    designs, and later this year shift to 65.

    "We're extremely confident we have the leadership today and are very
    confident we'll have the leadership on the next node of the processor
    roadmap," says Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

    At this point, few companies can afford such massive development
    efforts on their own. That's why most are teaming up to pool their
    money and expertise. "There are a lot of tough problems to be solved,"
    says Kevin Krewell, editor-in-chief of Microprocessor Report, a top
    technical newsletter. "We need new innovations to keep Moore's Law

    Moore's Law, the rule-of-thumb that chip processing power will double
    every 18 months, has driven the economics of the high-tech industry for
    the past 40 years. But in recent years, with each new generation, the
    time it takes to double performance has stretched out, and chipmakers
    have relied on all sorts of materials and design changes to keep pace.
    For instance, the shift from aluminum to copper as the base metal in
    chips in 1998 was a major watershed.

    VIDEO POWER. Now, IBM and its partners seek the next big bang. "We're
    looking for the next copper," says IBM's Su. For starters, like Intel
    and others, they're developing a class of materials generically called
    high-k that minimizes the leaking of electrons between tightly packed
    circuits, which, in turn, heats up the chips and wastes power.

    In addition to fundamental chip design advances, the three partners are
    focusing on innovations applicable to the consumer-electronics sphere.
    The idea is that they can get further by pursuing both goals at once.
    Analysts say they expect the initial Cell processor to be at least
    twice as powerful as the traditional processor IBM designed and built
    for Microsoft's recently released Xbox 360 gaming console (see BW
    Online, 10/25/05, "Inside IBM's Xbox Chip").

    "It's an amazing chip," says Krewell of Microprocessor Report. That
    will result in much richer 3-D graphics in games played on the Sony
    console. The goal in the future is to produce the same kind of
    performance advantages for a next generation of consumer-electronics
    products, including high-definition TV sets and portable video players.

    IN THE GAME. Intel doesn't have a comparable chip to Cell. Instead,
    it's concentrating on a new generation of multimedia processors for
    PCs, called Viiv (pronounced vive), which it announced in early
    January. "On Cell, there's not really anything to answer," says Intel's
    Mulloy. "It's targeted at games and embedded devices, and not on the
    mainstream server, mobile, and PC sectors."

    Yet as powerful and successful as Intel is, it may not want to be too
    dismissive of Cell, say some analysts. IBM is providing processors for
    all three major game consoles -- from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo --
    and Sony's PS3 alone is expected to consume more than 100 million Cell
    chips over the next few years.



    Toshiba, Sony, IBM enter new semiconductor technology alliance
    01.12.2006, 03:34 AM

    TOKYO (AFX) - Toshiba Corp, Sony Corp and IBM Corp said jointly that
    they have entered a new five-year chip research alliance.

    The three companies said in a statement that they will cooperate in
    fundamental research into advanced semiconductor-processing
    technologies at 32 or less nanometers for consumer products and other

    Over the last five years, the three firms have worked jointly on 'cell'
    microprocesor design, and its underlying silicon-on-insulator process
    technologies for 90 and 65 nanometers, the statement said.

    Yoshikazu Ochiai, a Sony spokesman, said the new alliance is meant to
    replace the previous collaborative arrangement.

    NV55, Jan 12, 2006
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