According to a report on DigiTimes, Sony's manufacturing partners are preparing to start production of a redesigned PlayStation 5 model in about a year from now. The new model is expected to be cheaper to build, which will enable the company to cut the price of its latest console, which is in line with typical strategy to cut a console's price after two years on the market. The redesigned unit is projected to have a shorter lead time, which should improve supply.
The new version of Sony's PlayStation 5 will reportedly rely on an AMD-designed system-on-chip (SoC) made using TSMC's N6 (6 nm) fabrication process as opposed to the current SoC which uses TSMC's N7 technology. Sony did not comment on the information to Digitimes. From the article, it appears the redesign is more internal, rather than changing the console's physical appearance.
Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL), a part of ASE Technology Holding, and Tongfu Microelectronics are projected to continue providing chip packaging services for Sony's assembly partners. Meanwhile, no company has officially confirmed its involvement with a redesigned PS5.
TSMC's N6 process uses extreme ultraviolet lithography for up to five layers which allows the use of multipatterning, speeding up manufacturing and potentially increasing yields. Also, the N6 technology promises up to 18% higher transistor density compared to N7, which can shrink die size and further reduce costs. Meanwhile, N6 continues to use the same design rules as N7 and enables designers of SoCs to re-use the same design ecosystem (e.g., tools, IP), which drops development costs.
Sony sold over 7.8 million PlayStation 5 game consoles since the product was launched last November till the end of Q1 2021, which makes the system one of the fastest selling gaming machines ever. Demand for PS5 is likely to exceed supply for months to come, and some industry insiders expect Sony's partners to produce more than 10 million PlayStation 5 consoles this year.