Sony is selling off its Cell processor fabrication plants to help increase profits and productivity, according to reports from Japan.
The rumoured buyer for the fabs is Toshiba, who will then become Sony's partner in making chips for the PlayStation 3. Having a partner in the process should cut down on the complications that arise in the chips development, and release some capital for Sony to help ease their games divisions loss from last year.
The Cell processor was originally developed by IBM, and by default comes with 8 cores, 2 primary, and 6 satellite. On the PS3, one of the satellites is disabled to increase chip yield, and one of the primaries is used exclusively by the XMB. The Cell is cited as a reason why the PS3 is slightly more expensive then other consoles, due to initial low chip yield (i.e., only a small amount of Cells made worked properly at first), although the Blu-ray drive is a more likely culprit.
Maybe there will be a Sony/Toshiba laptop venture out of this? We can only speculate.
Source: The Inquirer