Who would’ve thought it – quietly, without telling anybody, Sony shifted production of the PS3’s Cell processor to a new, 65nm process last holiday. According to Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai, the move was made in an attempt to reduce the cost of making the console, and that will continue as the PS3’s graphics processor is similarly shrunk.
“The Cell and RSX used in PS3s at launch were manufactured using a 90nm process technology. And now all PS3 Cells have shifted to 65nm process technology since last holiday season” Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment
The first production run of the Cell processors used 90nm fabrication. Sony changed to the smaller, less complicated 65nm chips during the holiday, reducing the number of components involved and as such reducing costs. The 65nm Cell CPUs also require less power to run.
However, the RSX graphics processor used by the PS3 is still a 90nm fabrication. Sony are currently working with their hardware partners for the GPU, NVIDIA, to reduce it to 65nm; they expect it to be ready for inclusion in the console in the Fall.