Intel, Samsung and Toshiba join hands to halve chip size: report

A man looks at Intel motherboards during the Computex 2010 computer fair at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 1, 2010. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

(Reuters) - Chipmakers Intel Corp, Toshiba Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will join hands to develop technologies that could more than halve semiconductor line widths to nearly 10 nanometers by 2016, the Nikkei daily reported.

Samsung Electronics and Toshiba -- the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 maker of NAND-type memory, respectively -- together with world’s largest chipmaker Intel, intend to form a consortium shortly and invite about 10 firms operating in semiconductor materials and related fields, the Nikkei said.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will likely provide around 5 billion yen ($61.21 million) of the roughly 10 billion yen in initial funds for the R&D efforts, with the rest expected to come from the members of the consortium, the paper said.

Toshiba and Samsung plan to use the technologies to make 10 nanometer-class NAND flash memory and other chips, while Intel will likely use it to develop faster microprocessors, the Nikkei said.

A nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter, or a hair’s width divided by 100,000.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel