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The Cell processor at 90nm as it exists in current PS3s
PlayStation 3 chip shrunken to lower costs

IBM announced today that the company has begun producing a new, 65-nanometer version of the Cell Broadband Engine at IBM's state-of-the-art East Fishkill, New York microchip production facility.

Cell processors found in current Sony PlayStation 3 consoles and IBM BladeCenter servers are manufactured on a 90-nanometer process. Shrinking a chip’s die allows more processors to be produced per wafer, a key factor in driving down production costs.

Sony is desperately trying to reduce the costs of its PlayStation 3, as each console is still being sold below cost of manufacture. iSuppli estimates that each Cell chip costs Sony $89, more than a tenth of the entire bill of materials for the PlayStation 3. The shift to 65-nanometer would significantly reduce the cost of the Cell processor.

Aside from costs, other advantages of moving to a smaller process include lower power consumption needs, less heat production—both of which potentially leading to more reliable systems.

Moving to 65-nanometer is just another method for Sony to cost reduce its console. Last month, Sony announced that its European PlayStation 3 consoles will ship without the Emotion Engine chip, a component used for backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 games, in an effort to save $27 in material costs.

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By PlasmaBomb on 3/13/2007 6:06:44 AM , Rating: 2
If it currently only costs Sony $89, then what’s the 65nm version going to cost? $50? Or are they going to ramp up economies of scale?

RE: Cell
By TSS on 3/13/2007 6:38:48 AM , Rating: 1
no idea what the 65nm version will cost then but obviously it'll be somewhat below the current price. which, if calculated through, is only going to mean 1 thing for the next 6 months atleast:

a bigger profit for the sony people.

RE: Cell
By michal1980 on 3/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: Cell
By tuteja1986 on 3/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: Cell
By Zandros on 3/13/2007 12:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, since the EU do not employ any custom duties or taxes at all... remove the standard 17,5% VAT from that. Do they still make a profit?

By the way, it's "loss".

RE: Cell
By ghost101 on 3/13/2007 12:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well you're completely wrong because youve ignored tax which is ~15% in most of europe and 17.5% in the UK.

RE: Cell
By peternelson on 3/13/2007 5:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes UK has 17.5% VAT and maybe some import duty, but American states AFAIK have sales taxes too of maybe 8%?

Actually the price we're paying (depending on exchange rate) was £425GBP or more which was around $840 US recently.

The extra $40 therefore offsets the difference in tax rates.

Certainly selling (or overcharging customers) in Europe is more profitable than selling them in USA.

RE: Cell
By NainoKami on 3/13/2007 6:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
25% in Denmark, FYI.

RE: Cell
By psychobriggsy on 3/13/2007 10:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if for every week the PS3 has been on sale, Sony have been able to shave a few dollars of the cost of production here and there (better yields for the CPUs/GPUs, cheaper RAM, cheaper drives, ...) and that's before die shrinks and component removals. The same argument obviously applied to the 360, as that went from making a large loss per console to making a profit within a year according to estimates.

RE: Cell
By Lonyo on 3/13/2007 6:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well the die size will be reduced by ~45%, so that means almost twice as many chips per wafer (in theory, although yields for 65nm will be different to 90nm), so they can get a lot more chips per wafer, which reduces cost considerably (although by less than 45% I would expect)

RE: Cell
By michal1980 on 3/13/07, Rating: -1
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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