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Major consumer electronics companies, NEC Electronics Corp., Sony Corp., and Toshiba Corp. announced Wednesday that the companies have agreed to jointly develop system LSI (large-scale integrated circuit) process technologies for the 45nm process technology.

The development of fabrication processes for semiconductors is getting more and more complex due to consistent miniaturization, performance increases and associated issues. Currently developers of process technologies and microprocessors not only have to increase performance of their products, but increase their functionality and lower power consumption.

LSI process technology development requires a tremendous investment of development resources. Many semiconductor companies worldwide are working together with the goal of more efficient development.

In February 2004, Sony and Toshiba announced their collaboration on 45nm system LSI process technology development, and have since proceeded with technology development based at Toshiba’s Advanced Microelectronics Center in Yokohama, Japan. The results of their efforts have been reported and recognized at industry symposia.

Likewise, NEC Electronics and Toshiba announced their agreement to jointly develop 45nm process technology in November 2005, and have been in discussions to decide the details of that collaboration. NEC also uses LongRun2 technology from Transmeta, which means that the troubled U.S.-based tech company may get a significant boost from the fact that three major electronics companies will use its technique.

As a result of today’s agreement, NEC Electronics’ 45nm development team will join Sony and Toshiba’s ongoing work on 45nm technology development at the Advanced Microelectronics Center. By combining the three companies’ development resources, NEC Electronics, Sony, and Toshiba will raise development efficiency and further accelerate the pace of development, with the aim of establishing 45nm system LSI process technology as quick as possible.

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