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PlayStation CPU to shift to 0.13 micron

Sony promises faster Emotion Engines

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Sony and Toshiba are migrating the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine CPU over to 0.13 micron fabrication process. The shift will also be applied to the console's Graphics Synthesiser (GS) chip.

Last month, Simplex Solutions, which developed the GS for Sony, unveiled the next generation of the part, fabbed at 0.18 micron. The reduction in size from 0.25 micron enabled Simplex to increase the chip's on-board video RAM from 4MB to 32MB.

Simplex Solutions representative, VP Aurangzeb Khan, said that Sony was happy with the yields of the 0.18 micron part. Despite changing the process, the second version of the GS is twice the size of its predecessor. The shift to 0.13 micron should allow Sony and Simplex to get the size back down again.

It should also allow it to increase the Emotion Engine's clock speed, boosting the PlayStation 2's performance. That will be essential to help keep Microsoft's Xbox at bay, particularly since Sony wants to ship 20 million PS2s during its next fiscal year, beginning 1 April. Xbox is expected to ship with a 733MHz CPU. Emotion Engine currently runs at 300MHz. ®

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