Cell shrink to help PS3


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Cell shrink to help PS3

At the International Solid State Circuits Conference or ISSCC for short, IBM announced that the it has plans to shrink it's Cell BE processor by 34% and reduce power consumption by 40% by moving from a 65nm to a 45nm production process. The Cell BE is the heart of Sony's Playstation 3. The expectation is that the die shrink will eventually help shrink the PS3 in both form factor and price. The much-heralded Cell chip turned out to be only a gaming engine. There's nothing wrong with that, but IBM and Sony had some grandiose plans for it before it came out.The shrink follows a previous shrink from 90nm to 65nm. At each instance, the Cell chip has retained the exact performance characteristics, shrinking only to reduce power consumption and heat. Although an unchanged shrink may be easier to accomplish than a shrink with performance adjustments and higher clock speeds, if this chip arrives soon then AMD may have some 45nm chips out quickly as well. They are IBM's fabrication partner, after all. However, there's no real date for the 45nm Cell chip. There's just a notion of "soon," so who really knows when it will arrive?