Sony's PS3 Slim carries updated Cell chip

The updated PlayStation 3 will be faster and more power efficient

The PlayStation 3 Slim gaming console from Sony Computer Entertainment is not only smaller and cheaper, but adds hardware enhancements that make it speedier, including a new Cell microprocessor.

The gaming console, introduced on Tuesday, is a slimmer and lighter version of older PS3 consoles. It carries a 120GB hard drive, which is an upgrade from the 80GB of storage offered in the earlier PS3. The console will sell for US$299 and become available on September 1.

Sony has made some enhancements under the hood to boost its processing speed and power efficiency. The gaming console will carry an upgraded version of the Cell microprocessor, which is being jointly developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

The new chip has been manufactured using an advanced 45-nanometer manufacturing process, an IBM spokesman said. Based on IBM's Power architecture, the chip delivers many performance improvements while drawing less power than earlier chips, IBM has said. The earlier console carried a Cell processor manufactured using the 65-nm process. IBM declined to provide the clock speed of the new Cell processor.

Chip production enhancements for the Cell could deliver some cost benefits to users, said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. The chips will become more power efficient and users may see some energy savings, Peddie said.

Smaller chips also cost less to produce, which may have contributed to the lower console price, Peddie said. That could also set the stage for further price drops in the future.

On launch, a Sony executive said the advanced manufacturing process was a factor in driving the console's price down.

"We're extremely pleased that we've been able to meet production efficiencies that have allowed us pass those savings on to customers," said President and CEO Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, in a video on the official PlayStation Web site.

The console carries a graphics processing unit made by Nvidia, though details about the chip were not immediately available. Nvidia officials declined comment, and Sony officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Earlier consoles carried the RSX GPU developed jointly by Nvidia and Sony. Peddie said that the graphics core in the PS3 Slim has to be identical or similar to the RSX GPUs, otherwise existing games for the PS3 won't run on the new console.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags games consolesPlaystation 3sony

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?