Feeds

Big Blue talks up 45nm PlayStation 3 processor possibilities

Higher clock speeds or a smaller power drain, Sony?

Reducing security risks from open source software

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.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.