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IBM Announces Cell Processor Shrinkage

PS3's CPU now manufactured in 45-nm process.

by Gerry Block

February 11, 2008 - In 2007 we invested a lot of time tracing the progress of the Xbox 360's shift from its original 90-nm CPU to a smaller and more efficient 65-nm chip and redesigned 'Falcon' motherboard. The news was exciting, as the cooler running chips were a key aspect of resolving the Xbox 360's well publicized penchant for suffering the three-red-lights-of-death syndrome.

Updates to the PlayStation 3's chipset and architecture attract somewhat less attention, probably because the system has a rather solid record of reliability even in its earliest incarnations. That hasn't stopped IBM from refining the Cell Processor CPU, and the company has now announced it has finalized a new design manufactured via a 45-nm process. The new Cells will use 40-percent less power than the original 65-nm chips. Consequently, they will produce less waste heat, which is always a good thing. Sony will also benefit from lower production costs, as the smaller chips will allow for higher yields.

Benefits for actual consumers may be a long time coming however. Though the potential may exist for a PS3 price cut or a possible 'Slim' model, we won't expect much until the end of the year, and certainly not before the white PS3 launches in America.

I hope MS has another price cut in the works soon. The last $50 cut was a bit too small in my opinion. Maybe we will see a cooler, and more reliable 360 for around $250?

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I would like to think there is another price cut enroute. I said, 'like to think.' because I honestly don't think they will drop the price. The PS3 is picking up steam. It has been since late last year after the HALO effect died off, and died off quicker than everyone thought. In fact it died off so quick that my supposedly limited Legendary Edition isn't so limited. I was at Best Buy today and there were 8 of the things in the 360 section but that is another story.

Sony has no reason to drop the price while they are picking up steam. It would seem like a great go for the throat move but I don't think they will while sales continue to rise. If I were guessing I would think it will be late summer or possibly October before a price drop. They will come in right as MS plays their ace Gears of War 2 in November. MS may have something else big in the fall of this year but I don't think so. With flagging sales and HD DVD being killed off it only stands to reason that if they had something else major unnannouced they would have said something at GDC. Not unless they buy an exclusive.

My guess is Sony will drop the price in the fall to coincide with Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, Home, SOCOM Confrontation, Resistance 2, Infamous, Heavy Rain, White Knight Chronicles, Afrika, and possibly Final Fantasy XIII. Those titles are scheduled to hit in the latter half of 2008, some certainly before November.

Edited by Hatchetforce
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Good news, but right I just wish they would put out a PS3 I want to buy in Europe. Currently there is only the 40GB with not even software PS2 support and none of the old 60GB ports and extras...

I really really want to buy one before GTA4 comes out. But I won't unless they put out an acceptable version. :(

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Good news, but right I just wish they would put out a PS3 I want to buy in Europe. Currently there is only the 40GB with not even software PS2 support and none of the old 60GB ports and extras...

I really really want to buy one before GTA4 comes out. But I won't unless they put out an acceptable version. :(

I did not know that you could not buy the "upgraded" PS3 in Europe. I thought US consumers had a bad deal by being charged more than Japanese consumers. How many Euros does the currently available PS3 cost there?

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Good news, but right I just wish they would put out a PS3 I want to buy in Europe. Currently there is only the 40GB with not even software PS2 support and none of the old 60GB ports and extras...

I really really want to buy one before GTA4 comes out. But I won't unless they put out an acceptable version. :(

I did not know that you could not buy the "upgraded" PS3 in Europe. I thought US consumers had a bad deal by being charged more than Japanese consumers. How many Euros does the currently available PS3 cost there?

They pulled the 20GB a long time ago and pulled the 60GB shortly after the "price cut" 40GB was released. And right now the 40GB cost, without any games, at best it was available between x-mas and new years for around 3200SEK in Sweden, which is about 340EUR or 510USD. B the normal price is at lowest 4000SEK without games, which is 420EUR or 650USD.

EDIT: In reference, the Xbox360 Premium costs 3000SEK and up, so about 320EUR or 490USD, and the Xbox360 Elite costs 4000SEK and up (so the same as the PS3 40GB).

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In Spain the 40Gb one with no games costs 394 or 399 euros while in the USA u can get it for 394$ when 1euro=1.5$.

Sony always does that and i really don't get why people here in Europe can keep supporting this behavior. So saying USA people had a bad deal by being charged more than Japanese consumers, i just can say at least you don't live in Europe :D

EDIT: why my euro symbol doesn't work? :(

Edited by Big
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