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More Next-Generation PlayStation Details Emerge

No surprise here, but Sony's dropping a nice chunk of change to stay ahead.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: April 23, 2003

In news that parallels 1994[/news]]Monday's story of the Sony/IBM/Toshiba juggernaut's attempt to forge new ground in the semiconductor market, Bloomberg is reporting that Sony will pour over 200 billion yen (or $1.67 million) over the next three years in an attempt to lay the groundwork for not only 1994[/news]]ongoing Cell research and production, but the next version of the PlayStation as well.

The focus of most of the spending is to help establish the plants and base technology that will become the basis for most of the company's future networking and console products. The plants will begin producing semiconductors from 300 millimeter wafers - a groundbreaking step forward in the constant quest to shrink the die size of processors to cram more transistors into a smaller space. The wafers will use an astonishing 65 nanometer process technology to create the smaller size.

"This investment is very significant for Sony's growth prospects," Sony President Kunitake Ando said at a press conference in Japan last Monday. "The investment will be the core for Sony's broadband network strategy."

Throughout the rest of this fiscal year (which ends in March, not December), Sony will drop 73 billion yen to create the new chips at a plant in Nagasaki. The new chips, dubbed system LSIs, help merge a number of separate chips into one single-serving chip capable of routing the functions of the separate chips through one smaller, more compact chip, thus increasing speed and saving space, and eventually lowering cost.

It looks like these new plants that pop up will be the eventual birthplace of the PlayStation 3 (if that is what Sony will end up calling it - which early "PS9" commercials seem to indicate), or at least its core components.

There will no doubt be plenty of info pouring out of Japan as the plants begin to kick out new chips, and we'll do our best to catch all the info and translate it into normal English (instead of tech speak) as soon as it's made available.