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After signing GPU co-development agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., graphics company NVIDIA Corp. says it looks at other devices from Sony based on the Cell processors to feature NVIDIA’s technologies. For NVIDIA this may mean a breakthrough into the consumer electronics field.

“The agreement with Sony, the specific license deal is on the console. However, as part of the agreement we are looking at other Sony devices that will have the Cell processors,” said NVIDIA’s Corporate PR chief David Roman, answering X-bit labs question whether the company expected the GPU co-development agreement to extend to other markets, such as portable consoles, set-top boxes.

The whole interview is currently available online in X-bit labs editorial titled “More Details about NVIDIA and Sony Joint Developments: CES 2005 Interview”.

“We haven’t announced yet but we are exploring some other opportunities within Sony, within the world of Sony. The license deal is specifically with Sony Computer Entertainment, which is the subsidiary dealing with the consoles, but in fact the agreement actually does include talking to Sony about some of the other consumer electronics products,” Mr. Roman added.

So far NVIDIA Corp. has not been involved massive into consumer electronics space, unlike its rival ATI Technologies, who supplies DTV chips and video processors for numerous CE companies, including Sony, Panasonic and others.

NVIDIA Corp. in early December, 2004, said it had been jointly developing a custom graphics processing unit for Sony PlayStation 3 console together with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony. The graphics chip for Sony PlayStation 3 is not expected to be a DirectX-executing chip, but will feature architectural peculiarities of the GeForce 6 as well as NVIDIA’s next-generation visual processing unit.

The custom GPU will be manufactured at Sony Group’s Nagasaki Fab2 as well as OTSS (joint fabrication facility of Toshiba and Sony). The Sony’s Nagasaki Fab2 facility is known to use 65nm SOI fabrication process jointly developed by IBM. The fab is expected to be able to produce 15 thousand of 300mm wafers a month.


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