The lauded Sony “Cell” processor which has had many people raving about it for years is going to be getting an upgrade
. Currently manufactured on a 90nm process and soon to make another appearance in the PlayStation 3, the Cell will be also equipped for future developments as Sony moves the CPU to a 65nm process. Typically, big chip makers use smaller processes as a way to increase the transistor count of a CPU, so die sizes fluctuate over time. Sony's primary intention is just to reduce the size of the die, so likely the Cell's computational abilities won't fluctuate much, merely it's price and size (which would also impact heat output).
The Cell is in production at IBM's Fishkill and Sony's Nagasaki fabrication facilities. Currently, the chip is being produced using a 90nm process. Switching to a 65nm process will reduce costs, potentially leading to a price reduction of components that use the chip.
This could have a direct impact on the cost of future Sony consoles, and that would be a welcome change considering the supposed price tag of the PlayStation 3.