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Report: Cell/B.E. to be Used in PlayStation 4

Could Sony be planning on using an upgraded Cell/B.E. in the PlayStation 4?

When looking at the three major home gaming consoles on the market today, the Sony PlayStation 3 packs the most advanced hardware. Utilizing the Cell processor, a joint venture between Sony, IBM, and Toshiba, the PS3 out-muscles both the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it will have the best library of games or highest sales numbers, it’s nice knowing you’re the only console on the block that offers a Blu-ray drive as well as a processor that’s still considered advanced even several years after release.

So advanced, in fact, that Sony may use it for the brains of its next console. The PlayStation 4, expected to be on store shelves sometime in 2011, will use a slightly upgraded Cell processor, according to unverified reports. With an expected core increase from 8 to 12, the new Cell chip will maintain something close to its current 3.2 GHz clock speed. The next Cell will also be based on the newest manufacturing tech, 45 nanometers, and could use a variation of DDR3 memory. The PS3 uses Rambus XDR memory, which is exceptionally fast, but also hits the wallet pretty hard. According to Electronista, Sony may get around the speed problem with DDR3 by grafting it directly onto the Cell processor, eliminating a lot of latency.

The move to a smaller and more robust Cell chip seems logical, but even if Sony decides to return to the drawing board with the PS4, the next Cell chip is still being worked on by Sony and friends, so look for it to end up in other devices like HD-friendly laptops. However, by the time 2011 rolls around, the Cell may be down to something even smaller than 45nm...perhaps 32nm or 22nm may be the magic number.

Translated Impress Watch story

  • timaahhh
    Hopefully the next Cell has a stronger PowerPC core perhaps a dual or quad PowerPC based core will make developers more inclined to developer for the PS4.

    DDR3 is prolly the way to go. I'm not sure what the article means when it says "Sony may get around the speed problem with DDR3 by grafting it directly onto the Cell processor, eliminating a lot of latency". Does that mean a DDR3 memory controller or like a DDR3 L3 cache?

    Anyways hopefully we see something a bit more practical to develop for right outta the gate. The Cell is really interesting though.
    Reply
  • frozenlead
    I think they mean that they're putting the memory right onto the processor board. That thing will be huge.

    Does a measly console need all this power? I think it's just bragging rights for sony.
    Reply
  • PowerXCell 32iv.... Look it up
    Reply
  • Ryun
    The Rambus memory? Geeze... I didn't think anyone used that anymore. Shame the chipset/Cell processor is designed to use only that. I bet Sony could shave off at least $50-100 off the PS3 if they could just use a vairant of DDR.
    Reply
  • reichscythe
    @Frozenlead- I totally agree, I mean, what's really the point of all this theoretical horsepower? At the end of the day, after all the hype finally abated, did PS3's cell really change this generation's gaming landscape? Did the "oh-so-advanced" Cell processor completely usher in the promised wave of True HD console gaming (1920X1080 @ minimum sustained 30FPS)? Did the PS3's oft touted processing superiority yield the parallel processing supremacy of the 9000 GeForce line or the 4800 Radeon series, released merely one cycle later? Does the much vaunted Cell architecture take the performance crown away from a $600 PC with quad core processor and a decent video card? Did all those potent number-crunching specs mean a tossed fig to the vast legions who passed over Sony's box for the last-gen-hardware-tech Wii?
    Reply
  • invlem
    This is all fine and dandy, but I hope they consider a massive overhaul on the graphics chipset.

    As good as the cell may be, and yes there's no denying its much more powerful than the CPU of the X360. The reason why the consoles are throwing such even punches at each other is that the cell is being held back by the PS3's graphics chip.

    The 360 has a weaker processor but a reasonably matched graphics chip.
    The PS3 has a behemoth processor with similarily (slightly less powerful) graphics chip.

    The result? Both consoles are equally powerful when gaming is considered (these are consoles afterall, gaming should be the main consideration).

    Unless you properly distribute a system's power, it will be limited by its weakest component, we as computer users know this full well. A graphics card can cripple the performance of the best CPU in games, and vise versa.
    Reply
  • spiralsun1
    This is dum. They are trying to make like PC hobbyists... but they are not. These consoles are no-frills, limited PC's for technical and financial dummies. What about the graphics processor? AHA! gotcha!
    Reply
  • aznguy0028
    even if the new "cell" is 22nm, it ain't gonna save the playstation without a good library of games. raw horsepower is such a stupid way to go, you need more diverse game playstation...hope you have fun getting your a$$ handled to you by the wii.
    Reply
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    AznGuy0028even if the new "cell" is 22nm, it ain't gonna save the playstation without a good library of games. raw horsepower is such a stupid way to go, you need more diverse game playstation...hope you have fun getting your a$$ handled to you by the wii. Then again, you could also make the point that the Wii is a success despite its library, which isn't exactly chock full of goodness and nirvana. There are a few great titles (mainly the old, established Nintendo franchises) and then tons and tons of steaming crap. The appeal of the system is for "casual" gamers, which in this case seems to be people who rarely even play video games but like to pick up the wiimote when visiting a friend's house.
    Reply
  • aznguy0028
    i guess from my point of view, what the wii did that the ps3 didn't was change gaming into a new perspective. young/old people all enjoy the wii because it is like a social event when you can play tennis/bowling on your screen and getting somewhat of an exercise from it. the ps3 is like every generation of consoles before it, more power, better graphics, same controller. i'm neither a wii fan or a ps3 fan, but wii did something that no one ever did and was a success.
    Reply