Toshiba, NEC to collaborate on 45nm chip technology

NEC Electronics and Toshiba have decided to work together on a future generation of semiconductor manufacturing technology, they said Wednesday.

NEC Electronics and Toshiba, two of Japan's biggest chip makers, have decided to work together on a future generation of semiconductor manufacturing technology, they said Wednesday.

The two companies will jointly develop technology that can produce chips whose smallest features are 45 nanometers in size. A nanometer is a thousandth of a millimeter, and chip production technology is measured by the size of the smallest feature it can support. At present, most advanced chips are made on 90nm production lines, although Intel has introduced technology that works down to 65nm.

Toshiba disclosed in early 2004 its plans to work together with Sony on 45nm technology. Now, with Toshiba announcing similar plans to work with NEC Electronics on the same technology, there is a chance that the three companies will end up working together, Makoto Yasuda, a spokesman for Toshiba in Tokyo, said on Thursday.

Talks have not taken place yet on a three-way cooperation deal but the idea has not been ruled out, said Yoshikazu Ochiai, a Sony spokesman in Tokyo.

Chip companies are always trying to improve their production technology because each advance can cut costs and bring big benefits for users. Because everything on the chip is smaller, the entire package can be reduced in size, or more components can be crammed into a chip of the same size to make it more powerful. In some cases, several chips can be consolidated into one, meaning portable gadgets can be made more compact, and in most cases power consumption is reduced.

However, it is becoming harder and harder to push the boundaries of chip development, and that's leading companies work together to share costs and cut development time.

"It's more difficult so some companies, especially those that have less money or resources, should work together," said S.K. Kim, a semiconductor analyst at IDC in Seoul.

Wednesday's agreement was sparked by talks that began in September at the request of NEC Electronics, said Sophie Yamamoto, a spokeswoman for NEC Electronics, in Kawasaki, Japan. In late October, NEC Electronics said its sales were down 17 percent in the April to September quarter compared with the same time last year, and it also lost YEN 7.9 billion in the period. At the same time, the company said it expects to post a YEN 20 billion net loss for the year.

Few details of the collaboration have been finalized, but the two companies hope to have a definitive deal by the end of the year. Engineers from both companies will work together at Toshiba's Advanced Microelectronics Center in Yokohama, west of Tokyo, the companies said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?