Sony, Toshiba and NEC are reportedly planning to jointly produce 45-nanometre microchips from 2010 to increase...
A nanometre is one billionth of a metre, and is the measurement used in chip production when indicating the distance between each transistor on the chip.
As the distance becomes smaller, more transistors can be placed on a single chip and production costs come down.
Production at 45-nanometres would put the three Japanese suppliers well ahead of Intel and AMD when it comes to their current production specifications.
These two, however, are already gradually reducing their nanometre benchmarks, and may well be even by 2010.
News of the Japanese partnership first came to the fore at the end of last year, and the Japanese press has now reported the start date of 45-nanometre chip production.
Whilst it was previously announced by the three that they would be co-operating on joint production and marketing of more powerful chips, Sony has denied it is part of the 45-nanometre chip plan, confirmed by the other two partners.
Sony though, has not ruled out buying in 45-nanometre chips from Toshiba and NEC.