272w ago - A 45 nanometer cell processor was first realized earlier this year, and Sony plans to include it in the PlayStation 3 sometime during 2009.
Well, how does this affect you? By creating a smaller chip, Sony circumvents some costs associated with creating the Cell, and a cheaper production price equates to more leeway for a potential PS3 price cut.
Additionally, by reducing the size of the chip from 65nm to 45nm, power consumption decreases by approximately 40%. When less power is consumed, less heat is generated, and a slimmer console -- like the slimline PS2 -- suddenly becomes a possibility.
We'll continue to provide the big picture on the Cell processor in the future -- no matter how small it gets.
321w ago - So much for their earlier denial, eh? It's now official. An anonymous Sony official has "confirmed" to Japan's Nikkei that they will sell their advanced computer chip operations to Toshiba in an effort to re-focus on core business. The official announcement is expected later today.
The sale gives Toshiba the manufacturing responsibility for the much hyped Cell processor used in Sony's PS3. Sony, of course, will continue to invest in the Cell chip. Nikkei says the deal is worth some ¥100 billion (about $858 million) and should be completed by March.
322w ago - This question has come up in GamePro and also on the new Sony (US) PS3 blog. According to Sony programming the PS3 can be more complex than the 360 but this is due to the Cell having more capabilities. This (sort of) matches what is said in the article and does seem to be a more general consensus.
But is it really true? You do have to put in more effort to get the power out of the Cell processor, there's no doubt about that. I don't think it's necessarily "difficult", contrary to what you might read, very few people who have programmed Cell have ever actually said that, they do say it's more involved though.
Being a chip geek I've looked over the 360's processor and my own thinking is that getting something up and running on it will be easier than getting it running on Cell. The 3 XCPU cores are the same and are programmed in much the same way as a traditional PC processor.
Cell is of course different, the PPE is similar to existing processors (actually, it's based on the same core as the XCPU). The SPEs however are different and are not programmed in quite the same way, programmatically the big difference is the local store, you have to explicitly move data in and out of it. On a normal CPU this is invisible as the cache handles this for you.