Thursday, February 07, 2008

The PS3 Processor Has Been Successfully Shrunk [Ibm]


1124186610.jpgIBM has successfully miniaturized the Cell processor that you know from Sony's PlayStation 3. Formerly built upon the 65nm scale, the new version will be based on the 45nm high-k process. What's this mean? Money, power and heat savings for Sony. And maybe a smaller or cheaper PS3 for you.

Along with the higher processor yields, what's most attractive is the power/heat savings. These 45nm Cells use 40 percent less power than the current, 65nm Cell. Sure that's a power savings for customers, but it's also a major heat savings for designers. The PS3 may not have the red ring of death problem like we've seen in the Xbox 360, but a cooler, smaller Cell could fit in a cooler, smaller PS3 (requiring less fans, etc.).

And while Sony has already managed to nearly break even on their console production cost vs. retail prices, the impending redesign could help Sony cut a legit profit from hardware (or allow Sony to cut prices again, instead). We'll keep an eye out for the new chips, but unless they come bundled in a smaller or cheaper PS3, none of this will really matter to you anyway.

Note: that photo is of the old, fat, ugly, 65nm Cell. [arstechnica]