Feeds

Big Blue talks up 45nm PlayStation 3 processor possibilities

Higher clock speeds or a smaller power drain, Sony?

Application security programs and practises

It's no great surprise, perhaps, but Cell Broadband Engine chip co-developer IBM will produce a 45nm version of the processor, paving the way for smaller, cooler-running PlayStation 3 consoles.

Originally produced using a 90nm process, Cell is currently being punched out at 65nm. That version debuted with the 40GB PS3. The 45nm version is expected to consume just a third of the power that the 90nm Cell did and less than half of that drawn by the 65nm chip, IBM indicated.

Those measurements assume all three are running at 4GHz. Alternatively, Sony could use the new power characteristics to boost the clock speed at the expense of power draw. That could see the chip clock to 6-7GHz yet operate in the same power envelope as today's PS3s provide.

There's also the opportunity to use the process shrink to redesign the core to add more processing cores and local memory.

More likely, Sony would use the 45nm Call as an opportunity to shrink the console's cooling system, making for a leaner machine. Such a product was recently rumoured to be in the pipeline, but since it's common Sony practice to reduce the size of its consoles, that's no great revelation.

The 45nm Cell has an area of 114.5mm² - about half the space taken up by the 90nm die. It has a PowerPC based processing core on board, along with up to eight Synergistic Processing Engines (SPEs) - essentially vector-data maths processors. The die has 512KB of L2 cache for the main core, while each SPE has 256KB cache of its own. The die incorporates a memory controller that connects it to Rambus XDR high-speed memory.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.