NEC Joins IBM Chip Consortium

Japan’s NEC Electronics Corp, the world’s No.12 chipmaker, said on Thursday it would team up with IBM and others on next-generation microchips in a bid to beat mounting development costs.

They have said they would work through 2010 to develop and produce 32-nanometer chips. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or roughly the amount a person’s fingernail grows in one second.

Chip makers are working together to shrink chips and squeeze more power out of them, even as they try to keep costs below sliding prices.

NEC Electronics will be the eighth manufacturer to join an alliance of companies that comprises IBM, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Toshiba Corp, STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies, Freescale Semiconductor, and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.

AMD is also a member of this partnership. It expects to ship its first 45nm chips later this year.

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