Japan's Sony on Monday said it would spend $1.14 billion in its next business year to build next-generation microchips with narrower circuitry on new production lines using 300-millimeter silicon wafers.

The spending is part of the electronics and entertainment giant's three-year semiconductor investment plan announced in April that aims to manufacture key devices in-house to lift profitability at its mainstay electronics division. The bulk of Sony's latest investment for the coming business year starting April 1 will go toward top-notch production lines for a high-powered microprocessor code-named "Cell" that Sony is developing with Toshiba and IBM.

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