updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009
Toshiba 28nm Deal Extends
Toshiba and NEC together said today that they would extend their agreement with IBM to produce 28 nanometer chip technology. The deal sees the members of the larger alliance continuing to work on the smaller, more efficient technology with the intention of using it for home user products. They now also say they expected 28nm to be particularly useful for "mobile communication devices" such as smartphones.
None of the involved firms have mentioned their specific objectives, though IBM and Toshiba in particular are likely to use it for future processors based on the Cell architecture found in the PlayStation 3 as well as video processing devices for future Toshiba HDTVs and video encoding cards.
Other members of the 28nm alliance include Chartered, AMD's former manufacturing arm GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics. These are likely to use 28nm for smaller, more powerful mobile chipsets, including probably ARM-based smartphone processors from Samsung and cellular chips from Infineon.