updated 12:30 pm EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
45nm Cell PS3 Chip in 2009
Sony and Toshiba today said they would start producing 45 nanometer versions of the Cell processor next year. The process is 50 percent more complex than the 65 nanometer process used for most current Cell chips and will allow the PlayStation 3 to use both a much smaller and cooler-running processor but also to cost less. Versus the current manufacturing process, the two companies' new technique can produce about 50 percent more chips at a time, reducing the cost for each processor.
The update will also be important for notebooks like the Toshiba Qosmio G55, which uses a variant of the Cell processor to decode and transcode videos without taxing the main system. A shrunken, inexpensive processor would let Toshiba introduce the hardware into similarly smaller notebooks.
Neither company has outlined their specific plans, though Sony has historically released a slimline version of its PlayStation consoles most of the way into their respective lifetimes that reduces the size of the case and often adds or removes features based on the company's experience with the platform.