Analysts: Sony's backing off 32nm chip research a smart move

If Sony Corp. is pulling out of plans to do 32-nanometer chip research, it's a smart move for a company plagued by financial troubles and it won't affect the industry's march toward smaller microprocessors, analysts say.

Reuters news service reported late Tuesday that Sony is withdrawing from joint research with IBM and Toshiba Corp. to develop the manufacturing technology for producing microchips with circuitry of 32 nanometers (nm) or less. The Tokyo-based entertainment and electronics company declined to comment on the report.

The news comes the week before Intel Corp. is scheduled to announce that its 45nm Penryn chip family is shipping. Late last month, Intel opened its new $3 billion manufacturing facility in Chandler, Ariz., kicking off mass production of its new 45-nanometer microprocessors.

Jim McGregor, an analyst with In-Stat, said now that 45nm technology is in production, 32nm microprocessors should only be two years away.

That two-year research commitment might have been too much for Sony, though.

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neogeo4057d ago

Intel is kicking ass all the way. 45nm already shipping. thats fast!

felman874057d ago

I wonder why they pulled out

ruibing4057d ago

It simply doesn't make sense to make such a long-term investment in something they don't necessarily need. With IBM already finalizing the 45nm research in their NY facility (it's near my college I think), shrinking the chip will not really payoff all that much for Sony. Even with the 90nm, the PS3 was already running stable, so the only motivation is saving a few dollars on every chip due to higher yield count from the die shrinkage.

Even if they invested in 32nm, the wafers will have a low yield rate due to the infancy of the technology, so it wouldn't really help them when a low yield per wafer makes each chip cost about the same anyways. Only when the yield rate has improved so that the tray cost is below the current 45/65nm cost, can Sony start getting a "refund" on their investment. And let's not forget that in this 2-4 years span, the millions they invested here could have been used elsewhere with a much bigger payoff.

Vojkan4057d ago

CELL is officially dead, well it was never alive in first place. Only PS3 uses it and no one likes it. Poor Sony lost BILLIONS of dollars in something that they didn't need. Just like Blue Ray.

YoMeViet4057d ago

blind like a sheep just like your avatar....

Jamaicangmr4057d ago

And half as smart as a sheep too.