By Chris Nicholls

TOKYO: Sony has announced a joint venture with former rival Toshiba to produce high speed semiconductors, including, ironically, the Cell processor used in the Playstation 3.

The companies announced the joint venture would begin from April 1, the start of the new Japanese financial year. Sony said the administrative details were still being worked through.

Toshiba will own 60 per cent of the operation, while the remaining 40 per cent will be split equally between Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment International.

The new company will work from Sony Semiconductor Kyushu’s Nagasaki Technology Centre, where Toshiba will acquire the company’s CentreFab2 300mm wafer line, with the exception of some equipment for 90 billion yen (AU$912 million).

The joint venture will oversee work on the Playstation 3’s Cell Broadband Engine, as well as the LSI ‘RSX’ graphic processor. Toshiba will also work on their own ‘System on Chip’ consumer electronics-focused technology. 

Toshiba’s move comes despite the PS3 being described by many as the ‘Trojan Horse’ that helped kill Toshiba’s HD DVD format.