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Sony agrees to sell PS3 chip lines to Toshiba

Sony has officially announced a deal where they will sell Cell production facilities to Toshiba. The Cell chip, which was developed in part by IBM and Toshiba, is regarded as the main reason why PS3 is so powerful. Production facilities for the chip will be sold to Toshiba in a deal that's worth an estimated 130 billion yen ($1.1 billion US).

Due to the sluggish sales of the console, Sony will need to reduce losses from the games division to something more acceptable. Osamu Hirose, analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, notes that this is a good step in the right direction for the beleaguered electronics company. "In this context, the spin-off of the chip business, which requires continued and heavy investment, is positive for Sony," he said.

Sony will also sell RSX (the graphics chip of the PS3) manufacture to Toshiba. Sony stock rose 0.6 percent after the announcement.

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(Page 1)

1. first

Posted at 11:06AM on Oct 18th 2007 by Livi70590

2. The Cell made a lot more sense as a console CPU when it had two cores. Sony's desperate need to cost reduce the PS3 even before release cut a lot of feature, and the biggest feature that was cut was one of the cores from the Cell.

As it is right now, it cannot compete with the Xbox 360 for general purpose CPU and gaming performance.

Putting the Cell in the PS3 was a good plan for Sony to cost reduce the Cell and make it profitable even though it isn't particularly suited toward gaming. This is the same way idea they're using to push Blu Ray adoption, but it appears to have backfired now that they've sold the production facilities to Toshiba.

Posted at 11:50AM on Oct 18th 2007 by thebigfatj

3. thebigfatj,
Song has failed because it's moving the production of chips to a company that's more suited to do it than itself????? I certainly hope you didn't take a business classes in college.

Posted at 12:07PM on Oct 18th 2007 by nlane100

4. Just because Toshiba and Sony are competitors doesn't mean they can't have partnerships in different areas.

Heres more info on the Sony/Toshiba Memorandum,+Sony,+and+SCEI+Sign+a+Memorandum+of+Understanding+Establishing+a+Joint+Venture+to+Strengthen+Manufacturing+Capabilities+for+High-Performance+Semiconductors/3036890.html

Posted at 12:12PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Philip

5. I think it is a good move. Toshiba probably will take a bigger piece of the pie from making new chips from now on but Sony does get paid a big check now and they will benefit from the expertise of toshiba.

Posted at 12:22PM on Oct 18th 2007 by shase


Toshiba backs the HD-DVD format. Hmm...

Also, this gives strength to the rumors that Sony is quietly dropping the PS4.

Posted at 12:36PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Jonah Falcon

7. "I think it is a good move."

Good move? Learn Business 101 - Sony is liquidating assets for temporary cash flow. It's a real, REAL bad sign.

Posted at 12:37PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Jonah Falcon

8. thebigfatj

"As it is right now, it cannot compete with the Xbox 360 for general purpose CPU and gaming performance"

What are you talking about.....PS3 is far superior to the 360 in gaming performance. Every developer admits it. 360 simply had a 1 year head start so devs would simply develop on the 360 and port to PS3. As for general purpose....I do not see the 360 being used for research as is the PS3....folding...etc.

Posted at 12:38PM on Oct 18th 2007 by frankym

9. "Far superior" in what? And by the way, the Betamax format was "far superior" to the VHS format. The Intellivision was "far superior" to the Atari 2600.

And currently, the Wii is "far inferior" to both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. How's it doing?

Posted at 12:41PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Jonah Falcon

10. Jonah, what are you doing here ?

Why dont you head on back to Xbox 360 fanboy ?

This is a good move by Sony, although it seems you want them to fail.

Posted at 1:02PM on Oct 18th 2007 by EDGE

11. hmmmm, in the long term I don't know if this is the best decision.

Posted at 1:03PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Random1448

12. @ 9

Far superior technologically. And yes, betamax was superior to VHS, however, VHS won the format war because it was much, much cheaper to produce. The bottom line is that consumers will adopt a cheaper technology that performs long as it is cheaper.

I own both a 360 and a 5 year old niece has a Wii. The 360 certainly has more games and a better online experience. However, the PS3 is a technological powerhouse...rock solid reliability...blu-ray....and much more power. Problem is devs will go with the console that has the highest install base...wi/60...and games are only as good as devs make them.

Only time will tell if ps3 succeeds. Most analysts believe it will. Next year will be defining for the ps3...however, whith games like MGS4, LBP, Killzone 2, etc. it is shaping up to be very promising.

Posted at 1:06PM on Oct 18th 2007 by frankym

13. @lame
"Also, this gives strength to the rumors that Sony is quietly dropping the PS4."

Um no PS3 is meant to last 10 years. JUst like PS1 and soon to be PS2. 360 which is already talking about 720 needs a new system cause there system has already hit its potential. Once you annouce a new system you LOST plain and simple. This doesnt mean anything omg there selling the chip to Toshiba so what. I dont care. If i have the best multimedia gamming sytem in the world and brings out the bad ass games i could care less about this news

Posted at 2:07PM on Oct 18th 2007 by NastyN8

14. "What are you talking about.....PS3 is far superior to the 360 in gaming performance."

Well, here are some indisputable stats:

(1) Xbox 360 has more fill rate than the PS3

(2) Xbox 360 has more general purpose CPU power -- 3 cores similar to the single core in the Cell. The Cell has more theoretical floating point performance but that clearly isn't the bottleneck.

(3) The Xbox 360 has more available memory for developers: the PS3 has 256MB + 256MB for its GPU which can be shared to some extent. The Xbox 360 has 512MB unified, and significantly less of it is consumed by the OS.

These are the three primary areas of performance for gaming -- CPU, GPU and memory. And the Xbox has not only on-paper performance advantages in all three, but it's clear from the games and the ports that the 360 has advantages.

That said, it's pretty clear that neither machine is 'far superior' to the other. They have similar performance in every way except the additional CPU cores that the Xbox 360 has and the SPEs that the PS3 has. But the extra CPU cores are more useful for gaming than the SPEs, and we'll continue to see games where devs have to make accommodations for less CPU power on the PS3 (lower framerate will be common, simplified AI will be common, etc).

Posted at 2:46PM on Oct 18th 2007 by thebigfatj


read and learn.....

Posted at 3:29PM on Oct 18th 2007 by nlane100

16. Wow, thebigfatj couldn't be any more wrong... "Less CPU power"? Are you kidding me?

It all boils down to how you use the machine. They are different beasts in and of themselves. Comparing game ports and specs mean nothing really. There's an interesting thing I found out about the 360 during some of my tests, the 360 requires more communication between the GPU and CPU eating up some of that valuable bandwidth. Also, the dedicated 10MB memory on the GPU is actually a rather ugly bottleneck and most likely the reason that Halo3 is rendered at 640 lines and upscaled (I haven't seen the code, so I can't confirm if they hit the same bottleneck as I have.) Communication in the Cell is virtually instantaneous with the EIB. The GPU (though spec'd lower "on paper") actually performs a lot of operations games use faster since it has dedicated (instead of generic) vector processors.

General purpose CPU power can also be a crutch, but being a 360 fan, you don't want to hear that. The Floating point processing power of the Cell is remarkable and guess what? Most people don't use integer calculations anymore. Especially in gaming. I'll give the 360 some credit. It's generic and easy to code for since every core is the same. That's where the benefit stops.

Posted at 4:06PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Andir3.0

17. If you're going to make an argument laced with hyperbole, might want to fix some factual details in there.

The Cell unit is given the seven-core configuration to up the yield; it accomodates for the possibility, and earnest likelihood, of one of the cores being unavailable at production.

The fill rate of the Xenos is lower than that of the RSX.

The Cell is capable for greater computational tasks, the catch is optomization. Kinda like how round pegs fit better into round holes if they're nice and smooth. And not square.

The main memory and memory for the RSX is separate, yes, but it is undeniably accessible. Splitting both actually yields a more efficient bottleneck comparative to a lumped unit.

The hyperbole remains entirely hollow, as it always has to those that bother to do any research at all. The 'port' argument is especially as such; the lack of familiary with foreign technology is assumed by those with any modicum of intelligence. Development with specific optomisation in mind, a la the White Engine, will yield better results in a smaller timeframe as the specific architectures are the focus, not an afterthought.

Posted at 4:43PM on Oct 18th 2007 by JKPierce

18. "There's an interesting thing I found out about the 360 during some of my tests, the 360 requires more communication between the GPU and CPU eating up some of that valuable bandwidth."

the 360 has more than five times the bandwidth of the ps3. The ps3 has 48GB of memory system bandwidth and the 360 has 278.4. This doesnt cripple the ps3 because it has an on die memory controller which gives the spe's low latency access to system memory, but it does mean the ps3s memory controller provides no real advantage.

Posted at 4:47PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Easo

19. Does this mean Toshiba can release a system with the cell and graphics chip and a built in HD-DVD player? The Toshiba StationPlay 1x2x3!

Posted at 6:29PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Cory

20. Come on commenters, all, I'm hearing is FUD. How about some positive speculation? Maybe Sony is about to make the switch to 65nm CELL Processors.

Posted at 6:39PM on Oct 18th 2007 by Gunegune

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