Playstation 3 not in production yet?

It would be to Sony’s best interest to launch with the largest possible number of PS3s that they can this year. Regarless of your opinion, the hype is huge and any waste of initial launch hype is going to be lost once christmas season is over.

Actually, I don’t feel ANY hype. Everyone in the industry is talking about how expensive it is, and nobody outside the industry seems to care. It’s not like Sony’s been working for months to convince people they need Blu-Ray. I haven’t seen any commercials or ads for PS3.

I don’t think this will stop Sony from selling out the first 2 million they make, but I do not feel any sort of hype for the machine like I did for the PS2.

Hype is a double-edged sword in this case. Sony knows they won’t have enough for everyone that wants one, so making a big marketing splash now is a waste of time and money. They’ll advertise closer to launch and there’s more than enough hype in place already among the hardcore to sell what they can produce

Console launches used to always be more low key like this. High price… few units… they’re following a model that’s worked many times before. It’s only relatively recently that people turned out to plunk down huge sums of cash on launch day.

I don’t think so. I think the fact that the PSP was widely available launch day and on hurt the PSP hype train. Personmally I loved be able to just walk into a store and buy it but there is some sort of platform right of passage to be rare and hard to find at the start.

Well that’s your theory, but maybe the PSP was widely available on launch day because they screwed up other things.

Sony had an excellent PSP launch. The problem was that there was nothing to continue its momentum. It had the worst dry season before more good games came out.

You’re probably just confused because November was the date announced at E3 2006. But the PS3 was unveiled (with large video montage including the infamous Killzone that got everyone hyped up) at E3 2005. Their final part of the presentation was a huge “Spring 2006” slide. Spring 2006 was their launch date until, I believe, late last year (maybe very early 2006? anyone have the exact date?) when they dropped the bomb that the launch would be in the fall.

Nope, that not it. I remember the Spring 06 > November 06 push. I thought there had been another.

Actually, they might have been partly right; it’s unclear. The original IBM chip guy talking to EE Times or whoever it was basically said that “yields on the Cell are under 10%” and that “we’re stockpiling Cells that have only six SPUs working.”

What this means is that the Cell has eight SPUs on it, separate sub-areas of the processor. Some Cells have defects, like with all chips. Sony has said that the Cells used in the PS3 will have only seven working SPUs, so Cells with one defective SPU can still be used in the PS3. Other customers have uses for Cells with six (or fewer?) SPUs, too.

What is not known:

  • When the IBM guy said “10% yield on the Cell” (or whatever small number it was), was he talking about perfect Cells with eight working SPUs? Or was he talking about Cells with less than eight working SPUs? (The clueless people who freaked out over the interview were assuming the latter, which is probably wrong, but no one is sure.)
  • What is the actual yield for each class of Cell (perfect with all eight SPUs working, slightly flawed with seven SPUs – the PS3 Cells, and six or fewer SPUs working)?

Anyone’s guess on those questions, AFAIK. Anyone have more info?

P.S. K0NY, that cracked me the fuck up.

Here is the link to the interview with Tom Reeves, VP of semiconductor and technology services at IBM, where he said:

Defects. It becomes a bigger problem the bigger the chip is. With chips that are one-by-one and silicon germanium, we can get yields of 95 percent. With a chip like the Cell processor, you’re lucky to get 10 or 20 percent.

In the interview, Reeves says seven SPEs isn’t a problem:

…the Playstation 3 only uses seven of them. You’d have a spare. That isn’t implemented in Cell, but it could be. We implemented that same strategy for IBM systems. If you take a logic hit on a chip, you don’t have any impact on performance because there is enough redundancy built in.


There are a lot of chips with six cores operational, and we’ve been thinking about whether we should really throw all of those away. We also have a separate part number for chips with all eight cores good. The stuff that’s going to be for medical imaging, aerospace and defense and data uses eight cores.


Electronic News: But might it be the less-expensive version of Playstation 3?
Reeves: It could, but I don’t think Sony has thought about offering that. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good uses for a chip with four SPEs.

So eight functional SPEs sounds like it would be overkill, maybe. I know nothing about medical imaging equipment, but I assume since a lot of it is so specialized and focused, some of it can actually do more with less processor power.

Seven SPEs sounds fine, six sounds ok, but four? That means there are no backup/reserved SPEs incase of failure.

Electronic News: What happens if one of the cores blows on the Sony Playstation 3 if there are only seven to start with?
Reeves: It’s just like a reliability failure on your TV or DVD recorder. If it’s within warranty, you send it back. If it’s not, your game doesn’t work anymore. You’ll always have choices about how reliable you want to make a chip with burn-in. Most chips that go into the consumer marketplace on things such as camcorders or DVD players aren’t burned in. But you can add burn-in and improve reliability 5x to 10x. It’s extra cost. Certainly, a company like Sony adds that in.

look, the reeves interview is a non-story. he wasn’t talking about the acutal yileds, yield problems, or anything else that acxtually has to do with ps3 production. anyone who quotes that as a "see, this means _____ " in terms of ps3 production, is a moron.

there are way too many perfectly valid reasons to believe sony is seriously dropping the ball w/ the ps3 to focus on that out of context quote.

Someone has already said something like this, but not why is was a non-story, or why it was false information, or how they knew it was.

I’m not a rapid anti-Sony fanboy, I’m just posted quotes from the interview. I also never stated anything like “this means this for the PS3.” I have no doubt there are two (or more!) sides to this story, but no is stepping up to explain it. Help me not be a moron!

If you read the interview, there is nothing to explain. He didn’t say anything about the playstation 3 or cell yields. He made a general statement about the problems of manufacturing a processor like that and what steps they were taking to improve it.

Did you the interview?

Reeves: Yes, because the Playstation 3 only uses seven of them. You’d have a spare. That isn’t implemented in Cell, but it could be.

He mentioned the PS3 right there, in a good light. And alludes to in another question.

Printing that answer without the question is not helping matters.

The information he is trying to impart is:

If you were trying to fabricate a chip as complex as an 8-SPE Cell, you’d get 10% yield.
The Cell architecture can handle having a few bad SPEs on the die.
SONY only require seven working SPEs for their Cells.
A seven-SPE Cell has much better yields - 90%.
They do have customers that require all eight working.
There’s no point putting an 8-SPE Cell in a PS3, it would only use seven.

Tromik: see my previous reply

I was just pointing out that he mentioned the PS3. My post earlier had the question and the answer.

Ok, so seven SPE chips are what the PS3 needs and what the PS3 is getting. Why does he even mention the PS3 and four SPE chips then? Was it hypothetical?

Thanks for clearing some of this up.

mentioning the ps3 != telling people what its yields are and are not.

You said he hadn’t mentioned PS3.