A look inside the European PS3

Monday 26th March 2007, 06:06:00 PM, written by Stefan Salzl

Finally the newly revised Playstation 3 model has reached the shores of Europe, but the revision turned out very differently from what everyone expected. When Sony first announced its plans to cut the Emotion Engine (EE) from European units, everyone expected that the Graphics Synthesizer (GS) would be connected to PS3’s southbridge with an eye towards eventual integration of the two components. However, this is not the case.

As can be seen from the main board pictures (New Mainboard pictures from HW Upgrade, Old Mainboard pictures from Watch Impress), the GS is not connected to the southbridge, but placed between the Reality Synthesizer (RSX) and its connections to the HDMI transmitter by Silicon Image and a Sony in house chip called CXM*02*R. As expected, the 32 MB RD RAM chips, legacy of the PS2, have been removed as well. This new setup enabled Sony to cut the CXD9208GP chip, which previously connected the EE+GS chip to the CXM*02*R and the RSX. It still remains unclear whether RSX’s changed serial numbers (from CXD2971GB to CXD2971DGB) are caused by these changes. Moreover, the purpose of the CXM*02*R chip is still unknown.

On the other hand, the southbridge has received a change as well – the serial numbers have changed from CXD2973GB to CXD2979GB. Judging from the size of its heat spreader, we can reliably assume that the southbridge has in fact been transitioned to a 65nm fabrication process. The size has decreased by about 69%. Unfortunately, it is still unknown if the southbridge is in fact the rumoured Toshiba Super Companion Chip.

So all in all, Sony has lowered its cost by removal of the EE, the RD RAM chips and the CXD9208GP chip. Moreover, the southbridge seems to have been moved to a smaller process as well. The new placement of the GS also seems to indicate that it will be integrated into RSX rather than the southbridge in the future.


sony ± ps3, euro, chips, cxd

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