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A new cell processor just for you!

If you thought the current Cell processor was itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny at a size of 90nm, you should be delighted to hear about the new 65nm version that has begun production en masse. Hmm, en masse doesn't quite work, so... the smaller version has been ramped up to mass production. This will yield a few advantages, supposedly.

The 65nm Cell is cheaper to produce than the 90nm. This doesn't mean Sony will cut the price of the PS3 -- they're selling it at a loss as is. What it does mean is that Sony might start turning a profit on each PS3 sold. At the very least, a much smaller loss per console sold. Secondly, since the 65nm Cell is smaller, there will be a reduction in heat production (pretty slick rhyme, huh?). Third, don't confine this Cell to the PS3 -- Sony plans to use it in a multitude of products and a multitude of products plan to use Sony's Cell.

Will European PS3's be equipped with this new, smaller, sexier, colder Cell? We don't know. Will there be a future model of the PS3 equipped with it? Probably. When that is, we aren't sure. They'll probably start tossing these babies in as soon as they find the yields appropriate. Keep your eyes peeled for this new Cell in a PS3 near you!

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Reader Comments

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1. I don't know much about that cell stuff but that was a slick rhyme, playa.

Posted at 1:27PM on Jan 31st 2007 by Eithan

2. Won't this chip be faster?

Posted at 1:38PM on Jan 31st 2007 by Ted Nemeth

3. Will this mean even less heat in the console and less noise¿? and do you think it will be available around april when i am buying a ps3? :)

Posted at 2:04PM on Jan 31st 2007 by miguelon918

4. I still think there are no PS3s near me...

Posted at 2:49PM on Jan 31st 2007 by Tomppa

5. NO the chip will not be faster!!!
YEs there will be less heat
NO there will be the same noise level ...as the chips don,t make the noise to start with =P

P.s The new Ver of ther 360 has a 65nm chip as well.... but M$ will cut the price of the 360 when it comes out *_*

Posted at 2:54PM on Jan 31st 2007 by L

6. Firstly, thank you so much for writing 'en masse' rather than 'on mass', like most bloggers do...

Anyway, this is exactly what Sony needs to do - make steps to reduce costs. Even with the swaths of negative press the PS3 has gotten, we all know that if the 60GB cost $449, you wouldn't be able to find one anywhere. I don't think Sony can get it down to that price anytime soon, but any step they can make to get closer to that will set them on the right path.

Posted at 3:05PM on Jan 31st 2007 by navsimpson

7. #2, no, it's just the same chip made smaller.

Posted at 3:29PM on Jan 31st 2007 by Roofus

8. They have to sell consoles to turn a profit! lol

Posted at 7:26PM on Jan 31st 2007 by Azorean

9. This will probably be available not long before christmass. This with new components for the Blu-ray drive probably. I would also ask for bigger HDDs m faster Blu-ray drives, rumble, and a redesigned, smaller PS3, but that would probably be asking too much. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, but not this year. If the new materials for Blu-ray are ready, and so is this chip, I expect a 100 buck price cut.

Posted at 7:27AM on Feb 2nd 2007 by Borat

10. the cpu is going down in costs (like in any other product over time) so is the gpu (same idea), ram will be about the same for a while..bigger hard drives might actually become cheaper later on as production of larger drives becomes the norm. Bluray will go down SIGNIFICANTLY in the next year. All in all, sony will be making profits from these products within a year or a year and a half...anyway they make a lot of money on accessories for the psp and ps2 (they had like 6 or 7 of the top 10 spots on the game accessories sales list)

Posted at 9:04AM on Feb 2nd 2007 by RAMX

11. Sony should use this opportunity to include an additional 256 MB of VRAM.

Posted at 9:53AM on Feb 7th 2007 by ULTRAVISITOR

12. #2,5,7: The system will not run faster, but, in general, the chips will be capable of running faster.

When a batch of microprocessors is manufactured, the chips come out with a range of different maximum frequencies (often power limited). Folks like AMD & Intel take advantage of this fact and sell the fastest parts at a premium and the bulk of the chips in a few broad speed grades. Moving fabrication to 65nm will shift all of those frequencies up.

In the console space, Sony chose to use only those chips that hit at least 3.2 GHz within the power budget and run them all at 3.2 GHz (even those which could run much faster). So, for PS3, a greater percentage of the fabricated chips will be usable. Thus, the cost for Sony goes down two ways: more chips fabricated per wafer (chips are smaller) and a larger percentage of fabricated chips meet the frequency goal.

Cred: member of the STI design team (Cell chip designer) speaking unofficially.

Posted at 1:03PM on Feb 7th 2007 by Bob


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