Toshiba, IBM, AMD team up on chip development

32nm chips are more powerful and energy-efficient but are also more expensive to produce

Toshiba today announced that it's teaming up with the likes of IBM and AMD to develop chips in a bid to cut costs. The chip manufacturing alliance - also including Samsung, Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Germany's Infineon Technologies and US-based Freescale Semiconductor - will develop system chips using 32-nanometre circuitry, Reuters reports.

The aim is to achieve high-performance, energy-efficient 32-nanometre chips which can go into mass production. These smaller chips are normally too expensive for individual manufacturers to develop, said Toshiba.

Industry breakthroughs

"This agreement caps a year of extraordinary momentum for IBM and its semiconductor Alliance Partners," Gary Patton, vice president for IBM's semiconductor research and development centre, said in a statement. "In 2008 we'll continue to strive to collectively deliver the industry breakthroughs and manufacturing milestones."

"This is a promising collaboration," said Shozo Saito, corporate senior vice president of Toshiba. "In addition to continuing the successful collaboration on fundamental advanced research, Toshiba will jointly develop the state-of-the-art 32nm bulk CMOS process integration technology, as a member of the world-class seven-company IBM Alliance.

"Concurrently we will also accelerate our own development of integration technology for the 32nm process at Toshiba's Advanced Microelectronics Centre in Yokohama toward achieving early production of leading-edge devices," Saito added.

The seven firms will work together until the end of 2010 on the chips. The deal incorporates everything from design to manufacture. The alliance will allow the firms to keep costs to a minimum.