Sony has quietly updated the chip in its PS5 console. It now offers an AMD Oberon Plus which notably promises lighter consumption.
At the end of the summer, Sony caused a stir by offering a new version of its PlayStation 5 much lighter. These new CFI-1202A and CFI-1202B models (depending on whether we are talking about the PS5 Digital or not) weigh only 3.4 and 3.9 kg respectively against 3.9 and 4.5 kg for the 2020 versions of the consoles.
We only knew the weight displayed on the instructions. Since then, people have been able to get these new versions of the PS5 and take them apart. Thus revealing the secrets of the machine, and in particular a change of AMD chip.
AMD Oberon Plus in TSMC 6N
Thanks to the website Angstronomicswe now know that the new version of the PS5 uses a SoC AMD Oberon Plus with a new TSMC 6N manufacturing process. As a reminder, the previous console chip used the N7 manufacturing process, like Microsoft’s Xbox Series.
With this new process, TSMC ensures an 18.8% higher transistor density. This makes it possible to build smaller chips, consuming less power and easier to cool. Sony was therefore able to revise downwards the cooling system of its console, thus explaining its new lightness.
This also means that the console should consume less energy, good news at the approach of a winter which promises to be delicate on this point.
For the rest, the chip is identical to that of the first PS5 when it comes to computing power. TSMC offers manufacturers to reuse the same chip design between its N7 and N6 processes. Don’t even think about changing PS5 to try to get better graphics settings, the games will be identical.
Sony bankers smile again
This reduction in chip size from 300 mm² to 260 mm² also has an impact on its manufacturing price. TSMC can thus swipe 20% more chips for each wafer for the same price, and therefore very logically reduces the manufacturing cost of the main component of the PS5.
However, it is difficult to know at what price TSMC charges this change of process. The firm has recently distinguished itself by large price increases on its orders to cope with record demand. According to Angstronomics, Sony should save around 12% in manufacturing costs on these new PS5 models thanks to the reduction in the cooling system in particular.
For Sony, there is also a final interest in using this process. As long as Microsoft does not change on its side, the Japanese manufacturer ensures a better rate of production than the complex chip of the Xbox Series X. It can therefore produce more PS5s and keep a sales lead over its competitor. In any case, these economies of scale should benefit Sony, which has recently increased the selling price of his PlayStation 5.
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