Inside Sony’s PlayStation 3

Geoffrey MacGillivray, technology manager for memory at Semiconductor Insights, got hold of some of the first PS3s and videotaped as he took it apart. This is what he found inside:

“Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) is optimized for power and performance,” he said. The PS3 uses IBM's 90nm Cell processor and the bottom of the board is dedicated entirely to power management. “Arguably, however, the most interesting aspect of the PS 3 board layout is the four Elpida XDR DRAM that are hooked directly into the Cell processor.” XDR, a Rambus-owned technology, eliminates the high latency problems associated with early forms of RDRAM. “In addition, the routing between the Cell and memories is carefully laid out with strong attention given to impedance matching and noise considerations,” he added.

IBM supplies the processor for all three major gaming platforms including Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and the about to be launched Nintendo Wii. “It is believed that the PS3 Cell processor will be different from the Wii design, in which the XDR interface will be replaced with a DDR2 memory interface.”

Watch video of Semiconductor Insights' PS3 teardown (below).

Click here for images of the insides and for more analysis.

A separate teardown analysis conducted by iSuppli Corp. yielded similar findings, and concluded that Sony is taking a loss of at least $240 on each PS3 unit.

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