PS3 Cell chip being shrank from 45nm to 22nm, when will we see this?

Oct 3, 2012
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#1
So, a lot of evidence (in a quote box below for the sake of tidiness) points to development of the PS3's Cell chip which has shrunk it from a 45nm size to 22nm.

"Elizabeth Gerhard's Projects

PlayStation 3
Team Members: Elizabeth Gerhard
- Owned the array design for a 1.6GHz TLB array in the 90nm node.
- Co-owned the delivery of a 128K custom L2 Cache array in the 90nm node.
- Led a team that delivered the L2cache array macro in the 65nm and 45nm nodes.
- Owned the register file cell qualification analysis in the 22nm node
- Owned the design of a 3.2GHz one read one write custom register file array in the 22nm node."

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elizabeth-gerhard/45/718/7b7



http://www.linkedin.com/in/chenguo
The recent release of the PS3 Super Slim shipped with the same 45nm chip that the larger PS3 Slim did.

So what is Sony planning to do with this smaller Cell chip? It's going to be far more efficient in terms of heat and power consumption.

Will we see a release of a more efficient PS3 Super Slim, or maybe a brand new console revision with an even smaller form factor?

Personally I believe they will just release the more efficient Super Slim, as revising the PS3 at this stage probably wouldn't be cost efficient due to the development and incoming release of the PS4 (which is clearly their priority now).

I just thought it would be good to get some opinions on this. Personally, I still have an 80GB Phatty PS3 and would be interested in picking up a PS3 with a 22nm Cell because of the greater reliability, what with PS4 on the horizon (and confirmed not to have PS3 BC).

What do you think, GAF?
 
Apr 22, 2007
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#6
I think the PS3 4k chassis design is the final one, at least for the next two, three years. Smaller chips inside is always a possibility, whenever the savings in silicon real estate outweigh the higher per-wafer fabbing costs, and potentially lowered yield of the smaller process.

If PS3 sells respectably through 2015, we may see another smaller chassis. But I'd wager this will be targetted more at developing markets, if and when it happens. The G8 states will be too busy playing their PS4s by then.
 
Feb 28, 2007
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#8
Imagine if there is like an empty slot on the PS4 where you can plug in a mini PS3 chip and bam you got your emulation.
Won't be as simple as this, I remember reading somewhere that there are other components in the PS3 that are vital for the smooth running of games but can't easily be emulated or put into the PS4
 
Apr 22, 2007
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#11
Jan 25, 2011
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Pukuripo Village
#13
A 6.4GHz 3-SPE Cell variant with some directed tweaking could emulate Cell BE 100% and would haven been doable on 45nm if IBM research is to be believed. This is IMO the most desirable target spec, as it would significantly reduce chip cost, even at the expense of power draw.
Ps3 Cell has more than 3 SPEs, games are developed with that in mind - therefore a 3 SPE variant won't work.
 
Apr 6, 2011
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#14
Won't be as simple as this, I remember reading somewhere that there are other components in the PS3 that are vital for the smooth running of games but can't easily be emulated or put into the PS4
I know, but I would want to wield the power of playstation 1/2/3 in the palm of my hand.
 
Apr 22, 2007
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#15
Ps3 Cell has more than 3 SPEs, games are developed with that in mind - therefore a 3 SPE variant won't work.
If I have twice the clocks, I can compensate for having half the SPEs. I can do even-odd-clock switching to simulate two 3.2GHz/256kB SPEs on one 6.4GHz/512kB SPE. Give me 100 million dollars and I'll show you.
 
Jan 5, 2012
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#16
$150 PS3 is coming ;)

Sony will keep selling PS3 for years to come so it's natural they won't stop pushing for cheaper parts.

Most suprising is skipping 32nm and going from 45 to 22 directly.
 
Jan 21, 2011
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#19
22nm Cell with stacked XDR and 28nm RSX with stacked GDDR3 on a single package. That's where it's heading. Sony have been researching stacked RAM quite a lot and they used it for PSVita, the natural extension is that they will also use it for PS3, 2Gb XDR and 2Gb GDDR3 chips aren't going to be particularly expensive.

What's more is that getting Cell down to 22nm would require the removal of Flex IO to fully realise the cost savings, that means stacked XDR for the same or more bandwidth between Cell/XDR is the only real solution.

What this also does is pave the way for an eventual single chip solution with all PS3 functions on board that could be fabricated at TSMC for less than $50, allowing for an eventual ultra cheap PS3 in 2015/16 for a developing markets push.
 
Dec 9, 2006
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#24
Maybe for PS3 Mega Super Slim console in a year or two. Maybe mounted only in server racks for gaikai BC streaming. Maybe for Sony branded TV/Entraiment box. Maybe as a highpowered processing part for Sony's medical equipment.

Whatever happens, mass produced 22nm CELL will not come soon.
 

Tiduz

Eurogaime
May 20, 2006
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#25
why not make a really small ps3?

it would mean people looking for small bluray players would buy one too, over a full sized bluray player, or am i being crazy here?

(The super small samsung bd player still is fucking sweet btw)
 
Apr 22, 2007
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#29
22nm Cell with stacked XDR and 28nm RSX with stacked GDDR3 on a single package. That's where it's heading. Sony have been researching stacked RAM quite a lot and they used it for PSVita, the natural extension is that they will also use it for PS3, 2Gb XDR and 2Gb GDDR3 chips aren't going to be particularly expensive.

What's more is that getting Cell down to 22nm would require the removal of Flex IO to fully realise the cost savings, that means stacked XDR for the same or more bandwidth between Cell/XDR is the only real solution.
A single Two GDDR5 chips on a 64 bit bus, of the speed grade used in the PS4, is already enough to provide combined aggregate bandwidth of PS3's XDR config plus RSX's GDDR3. And it just so happens that it's also 512MB per chip, the total RAM amount of the PS3.

Stacking makes cooling harder. Only the top chip in the stack can make direct contact to the heatsink and will veritably cook the lower layers. Stacking's application is thus mainly in mobile, where
a)power draw is low and cooling is not a big problem to begin with
b)space savings are a huge benefit
 
Oct 29, 2007
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#33
Half the SPU's at twice the clock rate is not the same as the full 6. It does not work that way.

Gddr5 probably has to much latency to work well with the cell, you would haveto bundle 256mb xdr with it to achieve perfect ps3 emulation.
 
Jan 21, 2011
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#34
A single GDDR5 chip on a 32 bit bus, of the speed grade used in the PS4, is already enough to provide combined aggregate bandwidth of PS3's XDR config plus RSX's GDDR3. And it just so happens that it's also 512MB per chip, the total RAM amount of the PS3.

Stacking makes cooling harder. Only the top chip in the stack can make direct contact to the heatsink and will veritably cook the lower layers. Stacking's application is thus mainly in mobile, where
a)power draw is low and cooling is not a big problem to begin with
b)space savings are a huge benefit
GDDR5 would introduce too much latency. They have to stick to the split pool so as not to fuck with games currently in circulation.

Stacking with 22nm parts as small as Cell would not be a big deal to cool. Cell at 22nm could easily be passively cooled given how low power draw would be adding 256MB of XDR on top wouldn't significantly increase power draw and cooling requirements.

The problem you mention with cooling exists for current generation GPUs stacked with GDDR5 because both products require heavy active cooling to function. Neither RSX or Cell would require active cooling at such small die sizes and such low power draw. The whole console would consume ~ 35W at peak with 22/28nm.
 
Apr 22, 2007
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#35
GDDR5 latency is a way overblown "problem". It only seems bad if you count latency in clocks -- though I have doubts anyone on this forum could quote a figure on even that when pressed --, but then GDDR5 clocks twice as high, so ...
And in any case, XDR was never famous for low latency.

They could always use two chips if a single bus causes problems. Point was, memory speeds have advanced enough to allow a drop-in solution for the old config with much fewer components.
 
Feb 3, 2006
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#36
A single GDDR5 chip on a 32 bit bus, of the speed grade used in the PS4, is already enough to provide combined aggregate bandwidth of PS3's XDR config plus RSX's GDDR3. And it just so happens that it's also 512MB per chip, the total RAM amount of the PS3.
This is not correct, 176/8 = 22 MB/s which isn't even half of PS3s aggregate memory bandwidth.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
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#41
Would be useful for 'ps3 server units' also, for cloud services. Smaller chip should run cooler and more reliably in that context.
 
Dec 26, 2011
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#43
Eurogamer mentioned in their PS3 4K 12GB review that cell is being shrunk into 22nm and the chasis will remain the same:

We now know that other key cost areas have seen no improvement compared to the outgoing Slim - there's still a 45nm Cell processor and a 40nm RSX. These components draw the most juice from the mains, so we find that overall power consumption is much the same as it was at around 70W. Expect this to change over time - we know that the Cell is being shrunk down to 22nm while 28nm is a good fit for the RSX. Future PS3 models will doubtless retain the same chassis but be considerably cooler, quieter and more power efficient.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-playstation-3-12gb-super-slim-review
 

fvng

Member
Sep 25, 2012
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#46
All I ever wanted was a ps3 roughly around the same size as the ps2 slim with a similar form factor. Just slightly bigger to accommodate a hard drive with a lid that pops upwards
 
Jan 18, 2012
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#47
I hope they change the look too. Not cause I wouldnt buy the current look, but I dont wanna be checking the manufacturing date on boxes to make sure I got the new one.
 
Dec 26, 2011
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#49
I hope they change the look too. Not cause I wouldnt buy the current look, but I dont wanna be checking the manufacturing date on boxes to make sure I got the new one.
I don't think they will. The Slim chasis was used for both 2k and 3k models. You'll probably see a 5k series branding on the box though so no need to check the manufcaturing date.