Improved Cell Processor for Redesigned PS3 Possible

The International Solid State Circuits Conference would normally be of concern only to high-end industry personnel, but the news of a new chip may be of significant interest to the gaming community. During the gathering of participants at the convention last year, a specific topic arose concerning a smaller and faster Cell Broadband Engine, otherwise known around gaming circles as the Cell Processor–the heart of Sony’s PlayStation 3.

According to the information given at the meeting, "The 65nm Cell Broadband Engine design features a dual power supply, which enhances SRAM stability and performance using an elevated array-specific power supply, while reducing the logic power consumption. Hardware measurements demonstrate low-voltage operation and reduced scatter of the minimum operating voltage."

The current Cell processors run at 3.2GHz and are based upon 90nm technology. The new Cell boosts performance up to 6GHz and is made in 65nm CMOS SOI (silicon on insulator). The benefits of a Cell that runs on less power includes faster, cooler operation–something any PC user can testify is vital for the longevity and peak performance of a gaming machine.

Although there is no indication that the new Cell processor will be incorporated into future versions of the PS3, there is speculation that the chip will be used in other electronic components such as computers and appliances. Sony’s Ken Kutaragi announced several weeks ago that there were plans to develop a new audio/visual-centric PS3 entertainment device. This new high-end version of the PS3 would focus on the multimedia aspect of the console being used in playing movies and music, as opposed to games.

On the outside chance that Sony implements the new Cell chip in future versions of the PS3, it would be a move that could alienate hundreds of thousands of early PS3 adopters, as processors in the PS3 are not an upgradable part.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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